Sun Microsystems released its UltraSparc IV chip in March of this year, which now ships in 50 percent of Sun's high-end Sun Fire servers. Now, the dual-core processor (previously reserved for high-end Sun Fire servers) will be offered in Sun's new four- and eight-processor Sun Fire servers this month.

Currently, the Sun Fire v480 and v880 offer four and eight UltraSparc III chips and start at about $20,000 and $33,000, respectively. By adding the UltraSparc IV chips, performance should be boosted by about 50 percent. The new four-processor Sun Fire server will perform like a Sun Fire v880 with eight-processors but will cost the same as current four-processor solutions.

Sun doesn't base all of its products on the UltraSparc, though. They also sell a line of servers based on AMD and Intel processors as well.