VMEbus and SPARC|
Sun Microsystems launched the first
VMEbus SPARC system in 1987. It was a single processor deskside server called
the Sun-4, to distinguish itself from the Sun-3 product line, which was
Motorola 680X0 based. The Sun-4 used a non standard 9U card height, in which the
top connectors, P1 and P2 were compatible with VME. For several years, enclosure
companies made adapter cards to enable standard VME cards to be used in these "Sun
Sun's SPARCengine 1E, launched in the late 1980's
was a true 6U VME product. But Sun discovered that the embedded market was not a
"get rich quick" scheme, and there was no follow on successor.
Instead, Sun sold this product line and technology to Force Computers, and the
SPARCengine 1E became redesignated the Force CPU 1E, from which time it became
independently developed and supported.
In the early 1990's there were a
lot more companies making native VME SPARC systems and processors than today.
In addition to those still doing so (listed on the left) the list also included
Auspex Systems, DTK Computer, General Micro Systems, Ironics, Integrated Micro
Products, men mikro elektronik, Solbourne and others. Other companies,
including Solflower, serviced the VME market by selling systems which used a
standard desktop SPARC motherboard connected via an SBus to VME adapter.