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SPARC history
..... SPARC History

SPARC Product Directory

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View from the Hill Re: Desktop SPARC systems

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - November 2001
In the early 1990's you'd be surprised how many companies marketed SPARC workstations. Desktop SPARC workstation makers listed in the SPARC Product Directory included:-

Aries Research, Array Consultants, Axil, Bustec, Concorde Group, Dataman, DTK Computer, EKF-Elektronik, EOS, GNP Computers, HAL Computer, ICL, Integrix, Mobius, OEM Engines, Pinnacle Data Systems, Solbourne, Solflower, Sanar Systems, Tatung, Transtec, Trigem, and Sun Microsystems.

The large number of market entrants was fuelled by business plans which suggested that this market would be like the PC market, with no single company getting more than 10% market share.

However, Sun Microsystems proved to be better at marketing than most of these wannabe SPARC workstation vendors, and so names like Solbourne, Axil Computer, HAL Computer and Ross Technology etc got consigned to the dustbin of history.

An added complication was that the performance of Intel Architecture PC's continued to rise, and by 2001, the quarterly shipments of SPARC workstations were not only declining in market share terms, but also in absolute unit quantities. You wouldn't know this, if you relied on reading Sun's cleverly crafted press releases, which continued proclaiming that they were getting increased market share, even while their unit quantities were going down...

Although this product category will survive in special applications areas like EDA, and software development for SPARC servers, Sun's vaunted hope of stealing the desktop market away from Wintel was never a serious prospect to anyone who didn't work for the company. Sun's key strength was, and remains, servers.

In contrast to the desktop, the SPARC portable market continues to show strong growth. That's a product area in which Sun has never been successful with its own products. But Sun is a significant reseller of SPARC notebooks.
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"...our virtual desktops can match and even exceed the speed of high-performance physical desktops."
...Chris Featherstone, CTO, V3 Systems in a July 2011 blog about the advantages of using PCIe SSDs from Fusion-io in VDI environments.
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What happens next in SSD's future?
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flash SSD capacity - the iceberg syndrome
Have you ever wondered how the amount of flash inside a flash SSD compares to the capacity shown on the invoice?

What you see isn't always what you get.
nothing surprised the penguins - click to read  the article There can be huge variations in different designs as vendors leverage invisible internal capacity to tweak key performance and reliability parameters. ...read the article