Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Awards Sun $50M Contract

7/10/2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in conjunction with the Department of Interior, has awarded funding for a 36-month effort to Sun Microsystems worth nearly $50 million for Phase II of the High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) Program. Phase II of the project focuses on research and development that will produce a prototype design for an innovative high performance computing system that is also capable of delivering high programmer productivity.

DARPA's award to Sun Labs for Phase II of the HPCS Program signals acceptance of Sun's Phase I concept design, developed by a team of Sun Microsystems' top scientists and engineers in collaboration with leading academic institutions. Sun's Phase I design includes revolutionary chip technologies that will dramatically increase computer systems performance and productivity.

"DARPA asked for breakaway innovation and Sun's HPCS research results demonstrated that we are developing radical new technologies that can change the industry," said Scott McNealy, chairman, president, and CEO of Sun Microsystems. "As a total systems company with high-performance computing in our DNA, we're well positioned to deliver the next-generation system that will far outclass any of today's most powerful supercomputers. Our work will transform the way the world builds and uses high-end computer systems."

"Sun's integrated system approach offers a greatly simplified architecture and novel programming tools that boost user productivity, enhance numerical precision, increase system security, and support legacy software. Furthermore, application programmers can readily access the peak capability of Sun's architecture, which will scale smoothly to quadrillions of calculations per second," said John Gustafson, Senior Scientist for Sun's HPCS Program.

HPCS Project Overview
DARPA's goal for the HPCS program is to provide a new generation of economically viable and holistically designed systems with breakaway levels of performance, programmability, reliability and portability. DARPA challenged vendors to provide 'petascale' systems in the coming decade that can perform quadrillions of operations per second without the problems of achieving ease-of-use and reliability that have plagued giant computer systems in recent years.

These systems will address Department of Defense (DoD) high-performance requirements in a number of critical areas, including weather and ocean forecasting, cryptanalysis, weapons survivability and stealth design, surveillance and reconnaissance, virtual manufacturing and failure analysis, and biotechnology.

The 36-month Phase II HPCS focus is on research and development of the system concept designed in Phase I, and will culminate in a prototype design for a commercially-viable high productivity computing system. Contractors for Phase III, which will involve 48 months of full-scale system development, assessment and reviews, will be chosen at a future date. For more information, visit

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 and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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