Sun Reduces Cost of High-performance Visualization, Technical Computing

12/8/2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) introduced new products that help customers to reduce the cost of high-performance visualization and technical computing with the Sun Blade 2500 workstation, the Sun Fire Visual Grid system, the Sun XVR-600 graphics accelerator card and the SX1500 and SX2500 OEM boards.

"We are launching one of the most compelling technical computing and visualization offering in the market today," said Neil Knox, executive vice president, Volume Systems Products at Sun. "We're addressing the need for better price-performance and greater processing power with next-generation solutions including server-based graphics support and grid solutions across our product lines. To top it off, we are delivering some of the most competitive price/performance solutions with our complete line of low-cost workstations."

The new Sun Blade 2500 workstation offers customers virtually unparalleled price-performance, including more memory, faster networking and better graphics than all previous Sun Blade systems, starting at only $4,995 U.S. list price. Running the 1.28 GHz UltraSPARC IIIi processor, the Sun Blade 2500 is dual-processor capable with up to eight gigabytes (GB) of memory, 72 GB of storage, gigabit Ethernet, seven USB ports, and three 1394a ports. The Sun Blade 2500 workstation is offered with the Sun XVR-1200 and the Sun XVR-600 graphics accelerator cards, creating the ideal system for handling complex model design, analysis, simulation and visualization.

The new Sun Blade 2500 workstation, available today, will replace the Sun Blade 2000 system while preserving customer investment by being fully binary compatible. This system, coupled with the recently announced Sun Blade 1500 workstation allows Sun to offer a comprehensive line of workstations - from light to moderate to high-end technical compute environments. Several top ISV's, including Fluent Inc. and PTC, have shown strong application price/performance results for the MCAD, MCAE and oil and gas industries.

The Sun Fire Visual Grid, also announced today, is a grid solution designed for high performance visualization workgroup environments. The Sun Fire Visual Grid provides a customized solution built with Sun systems, software and services that handles the visualization, data management, scalability and support needs of such markets as scientific research, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

"This technology provides immediate value," said Shahin Khan, vice president of High Performance and Technical Computing at Sun. "For example, designers can create and test new products virtually instead of building prototypes, allowing manufacturers to cut years off the production process. We are excited to demonstrate the Sun Fire Visual Grid as a key component of our Grid everywhere vision."

With the Sun Fire Visual Grid, there is no need to modify Open GL® applications, they just run transparently in the Visual Grid environment. The Sun Fire Visual Grid is scalable to as many as 64 simultaneous visual displays driven by up to 16 V880z servers clustered with one or more Sun Fire 4800, 6800, 12K or 15K servers. This offering is the ideal solution for collaborative and immersive work group environments. Offered starting at under $200,000, it is a powerful alternative to other high-end visualization solutions.

Sun also unveiled the Sun XVR-600 graphics accelerator card - Sun's next generation entry-level 3-D graphics offering. This solution provides twice the geometry performance and 2.5 times the texture fill rate as the XVR-500 for the same price. It also includes features like 3-D geometry acceleration, hardware texture mapping, dedicated texture memory and high resolution 2D/3D and stereo support. It is the ideal solution for MCAD, MCAE, GIS, Imaging and EDA markets and supports the Sun Blade 1500 and 2500 workstations, the Sun Fire V440, V480 and V880 servers. The Sun XVR-600 graphics accelerator is available today for $1,195 U.S. list price.

Sun is taking its high performance embedded solutions to OEMs and System Integrators with two new 64-bit boards - the SX1500 and SX2500. Running one 1.06 GHz and two 1.28 GHz UltraSPARC IIIi processors, respectively, and the highly reliable Solaris Operating System, the SX1500 and SX2500 offer eight and 16 GB of DDR memory, four and eight DIMM slots, and five and six PCI slots capable of supporting 2-D and 3-D PCI graphics cards. Designed to flourish in compute and graphic-intensive environments, these industry standard form-factor boards are ideal for OEMs who build customized systems for the digital media, public sector, healthcare and manufacturing markets. The SX1500 has a U.S. list price of $2,095 and will be available December 19, 2003; the SX2500 is priced at $5,795 and will be available January 29, 2004. More information on these products is available online at

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Blade, Sun Fire, Solaris, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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