Sun announced today the release of their long awaited Niagara processor, the next step in the UltraSparc line. Claiming it will outperform rivals clock for clock while using less power, the eight-core, four-threads-per-core chip will consume about 70W, significantly less than Power and Xeon CPUs. The chips are also capable of being put into parallel with one another.

"We can enable (customers) to provide more services within the same envelope of space, power and cooling that they have today," said Fred Kohout, vice president of marketing at Sun's scalable systems group. "They don't have to add more space, more power and more cooling to add more services or run more activities on the Web."
The industry has taken a turn to favoring green computing over other features in recent years, and Sun claims one of their goals is to reduce the number of servers in the world. A bit of a catch 22, it would seem, but Sun, a niche market vendor, is ready. Whether or not their claims of being five years ahead of development compared to bigger players like IBM and Intel has yet to be seen, but many have awaited the release of this next class CPU.