Back in 2006 Sun Microsystems made the bold move of open sourcing the RTL code for their UltraSPARC T1 processor via the OpenSPARC project. Targeted at data centre applications and with a full configuration featuring 8x cores and 32x hardware threads, the processor was used in Sun and Fujitsu systems, typically supporting workloads such as web and Java application servers.

The OpenPiton processor builds on the OpenSparc T1 and is designed to enable scalable architecture research prototypes from 1 to 500 million cores. In this latest episode of Open Source Digital Design Insights we get to hear from Jonathan Balkind, who provides an introduction to OpenPiton, the group behind it, commercial applications and relevance to data centres of the future.