To contain likely disruptions, Sun has gotten TI, which wants out of the high-end market, to agree to do the scut work of testing and packaging the 45nm processors.
Sun has yet to tape out 45nm Sparcs and won’t for another year.
Sun claims the switch will give it access to more capacity at a lower cost.
TI has made Sparcs for almost 20 years. It now wants to put its efforts into chips for cell phone base stations and such. Making Sparcs is too expensive.
Sun and TSMC are also supposed to work on expanding Sun’s Open SPARC program, starting with an outreach program to universities in Taiwan and TSMC’s customers and IP partners.
Sun currently has six schools committed to executing chip design research and course work based on Sun’s multithreaded chip design: Stanford, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carnegie Mellon.