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Fujitsu SPARC M12 – Welcome to the Family

It is time to welcome a new series into our Fujitsu SPARC server family: the Fujitsu SPARC M12 server, which boasts the world’s most powerful per core CPU performance. In this blog, we are going to go over the high points of the new system. First, let’s take a look at the new processor fueling the Fujitsu SPARC M12. It’s called the SPARC64 XII processor and it’s pretty impressive.

SPARC 64Here are the high points

  • Up to 4.25 GHz frequency
  • 12 cores and 96 threads per processor. Yes, you read that correctly, 96 threads – 8 Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) threads per core, which gives you more performance on multi-threaded workloads.
  • Each core is up to 2.5x faster per core than the previous generation SPARC64 X+. Fewer cores than the older chip, but each core runs much more work than its predecessor.
  • Scalability: up to 32 sockets and 32TB of memory in a single SMP OS image.
  • Double the CPU-memory bandwidth per core (12.8 GB/sec vs  4 GB/sec)

 

Fujitsu has come up with a highly innovative way to cool the processor; it’s called VLLC (Vapor and Liquid Loop Cooling). Liquid Loop Cooling, as used in the Fujitsu M10-4 and M10-4S servers, is much more efficient than air cooling. Liquids absorb and transfer heat about 1.5x better than air, thus making liquid cooling much more effective in cooling processors.

Vapor and Liquid Loop Cooling is a big step beyond Liquid Loop Cooling. With VLLC, when the liquid hits the hot processor, it’s boiled into a vapor. The physical change from liquid to vapor provides 3X more cooling performance than traditional air cooling. The phase change between liquid and vapor absorbs and transfers heat much better than air and even much better than liquid.

SPARC - Vapor and Liquid loop cooling

The vapor then moves away from the processor to a condenser where it is cooled by a fan. At this point, it turns back into a liquid and travels back to the processor.

It’s a completely closed loop that is fully self-contained (no leaks!) and sealed-for-life. The liquid can never escape, making it completely safe to use with liquid sensitive processors and other electronics. VLLC is a huge advance from Fujitsu and points the way towards enhanced liquid cooled systems of the future that will continue to enhance performance while balancing package density requirements.

One other thing to note is that the Fujitsu SPARC M12 servers now come in a max two-socket form, rather than the two or four-socket form factor of the Fujitsu M10-4 and M10-4S. This allows customers to purchase a smaller configuration and then grow into a larger system over time. With the Fujitsu SPARC M12 Core Activation feature, customers can start with just two cores and add CPU capacity a single core at a time. Customer can buy exactly the system they need today, and then expand the system as workloads grow.

Perhaps the best feature of the Fujitsu SPARC M12 is the impact that it will have on potential software licensing cost savings. The vast majority of enterprise software is licensed by the core, meaning that if it takes more cores to handle the workload, the customer pays for more cores. In most environments, these annual software licensing costs are considerable – often higher than initial hardware acquisition costs over time.

You can find more information about the Fujitsu SPARC M12 here.

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2 Comments

  • avatar image
    M10 User
    May 24, 2017

    Is it true that you still don't support AES-GCM ciphers in hardware?

  • avatar image
    Bruce Jones
    June 6, 2017

    Hi M10 User, while it is true that the SPARC64 XII processor does not contain specific hardware accelerators for AES-GCM ciphers, platform-optimized improvements for AES-GCM are planned for inclusion in Solaris 11. next.

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