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Sparc goes open source

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Sun on Tuesday plans to release the underlying design of its UltraSparc T1 Niagara processor under the terms of the GPL.

The move fulfils a commitment to employ the open source licence that Sun's president, Jonathan Schwartz, made at the Open Source Business Conference in January. David Yen, executive vice president of Sun's Sparc server group, is expected to discuss the move at the Multi-Core Expo in Santa Clara, California, where Sun also has its headquarters.

The OpenSparc project is designed to increase the relevance of Sun's Sparc family, which has lost market share in recent years to IBM's Power and to x86 chips from Intel and AMD.

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