Sun Partnership To Promote OpenSparc In Europe - InformationWeek

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Sun Partnership To Promote OpenSparc In Europe

Europractice and Sun will jointly encourage OpenSparc CMT as a reference design among 650 universities and research institutions across 38 European countries.

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday said Europractice, a European Union-backed nonprofit technology group, has agreed to promote OpenSparc chip multithreading technology as a reference design among 650 universities and research institutions across 38 European countries.

The Europractice microelectronics design-simulation project said it chose OpenSparc CMT based on the open source technology's advanced architecture and freely available commercial-caliber designs. The organization, which is managed by Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom, believes access to the technology will help boost Europe's teaching and research efforts in the microprocessor field.

"We are excited about the potential for future engineering innovations and educational advances on Sun's OpenSparc technologies," John McLean, head of Europractice Software Service, said in a statement released by Sun.

Under the agreement, Europractice and Sun would jointly promote best practices and curriculum adoption throughout European education institutions. The available technology under the pact includes the OpenSparc T1 and T2 processor register transfer-level files, which can be downloaded from the OpenSparc Web site.

The latest deal adds to similar efforts by Sun and universities in China, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the United States. Since making OpenSparc T1 and T2 design files available for free in 2005, there have been nearly 10,000 downloads, plus another 7,000 downloads of the software related to the OpenSparc chip, according to Shrenik Mehta, senior director of front-end technologies and the OpenSparc platform at Sun.

IT vendors aggressively seek partnerships with academia in developing technology that eventually gets commercialized and then sent back to schools as products that are further tested and advanced. In addition, getting products in front of computer students increases the chances of them introducing the technology to future employers.

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