Sun Denies Reports of UltraSparc III Delays

FRAMINGHAM (04/10/2000) - A Sun Microsystems Inc. spokesman Friday refuted a news report published earlier this week that claimed that Sun had once again pushed back the delivery dates of its first UltraSparc III-based servers.

Sun remains firmly on track to deliver systems based on the next-generation chip some time during the second half of this year, insisted Doug Van Aman, a spokesman for the Palo Alto, California-based company.

However, he refused to elaborate on whether these systems would be UltraSparc III-based servers or workstations.

"We have not made a definitive statement on what the first systems will be."

Aman said.

Sun has typically tended to introduce new processors first on its lower-end workstations before introducing them on higher-end enterprise class servers, Aman said.

"We have a lot of chips in our labs ... our engineers are working on (UltraSparc III) systems right now," Aman added.

Sun will roll-out UltraSparc III systems as scheduled throughout the latter part of this year and into early 2001, Aman claimed.

"We are dead on target," Aman claimed.

If Sun does indeed delay shipment of systems based on the new chip, it won't be the first time. Sun first announced plans for its 600-MHz UltraSparc III chips back in October 1997. Analysts had expected systems based on the chip to start shipping by late 1998.

But Sun later claimed the schedule was too aggressive and said that UltraSparc systems would only start shipping in early to mid-1999.

The UltraSparc III chip is aimed at the high-performance computing market, including enterprise and workgroup workstations and servers.

Systems based on the chip are expected to be significantly more powerful than current-generation UltraSparc II chips. A 1999 report by Gartner Group Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, claimed that customers who move to the new technology can expect a 75 percent to 100 percent performance boost, but upgrading will require a total system swap.

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