Its upcoming T5 processor is a 28-nanometer shrink of the T4 shown at last year's Hot Chips. When Oracle went from the T3 to the T4, it halved the core count from 16 to eight in order to focus instead on improving each core's single-thread performance. The T5 will be back to 16 cores, each running at up to 3.6GHz, compared with 3GHz on the T4.
One of Oracle's goals for the T5 was to put the chips in as many as eight sockets per server with "close to linear scaling," Oracle's Sebastian Turullols said at Hot Chips.
"There are eight-socket systems you can buy that deliver the equivalent of perhaps only five single sockets," he said. That's partly because it's "a hard problem to solve," he said, and also because some chip vendors optimize their designs to be used in four-socket systems. Oracle says customers who use the T5 in an eight-socket system will get close to the performance of eight processors.
The T5 also adds several features to accelerate clustering, which is important for the big machines Oracle has chosen to focus on, such as its Sparc SuperCluster. And the T5 includes accelerator units for an "unprecedented" 16 encryption algorithms, Turullols said, as well as a random number generator.
Oracle hasn't said when the T5 will ship, though it's not expected before the end of the year.