SPARC – time flies

Recently a good friend of mine gave me a super-duper, crazy-as-hell Oracle SPARC M7 CPU for my CPU collection forcing me into another stroll down the memory lane… and I couldn’t refrain from taking a special “family photo”

SPARC M7 next to SPARC 1 - 29 years appart

Yes, the couple sitting next to the huge M7 is a SPARC (1) from a SPARCstation 1 @ 20MHz, – the CPU was manufactured 1989 by LSI (S1A0007), the FPU came from Weitek (3170).
BTW: I personally pulled both back in 1992, when I worked in my 2nd company selling SPARC clones.

If I counted correctly, the there are 26 model-generations and about 29 years are between them (just SUN/Oracle models). Ignoring all the M7 hyper-modern stuff like in-silicon-SQL accelerators etc. numbers are still breathtaking:
The SPARC M7 -still one of the fastest CPUs around (as of 2016)- has  10.000 times more transistors, a 206 times higher clocking, 31 more “cores”. It’s 64MB L3 cache(!) is the same amount, a SPARCstation could address as a maximum system RAM.
Sadly there’s not way to compare their actual computing power, as benchmarks which where ran on the SPARC 1 aren’t applicable on the M7 and vice versa. Or do you have Dhry/Whetstones for an M7?

Anyhow: It’s just so amazing to be able to witness this crazy development in just 2/3rds of an average-life-time. Don’t you think so, too?

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