The Evolution of X86

Solaris x86 Architecture

Solaris uses a common code base for the platforms it supports: SPARC and i86pc (which includes both x86 and x86-64).

Solaris has a reputation for being well-suited to symmetric multiprocessing, supporting a large number of CPUs. It has historically been tightly integrated with Sun's SPARC hardware (including support for 64-bit SPARC applications since Solaris 7), with which it is marketed as a combined package. This has often led to more reliable systems, but at a cost premium over commodity PC hardware. However, it has also supported x86 systems since Solaris 2.1 and the latest version, Solaris 10, includes support for 64-bit x86 applications, allowing Sun to capitalize on the availability of commodity 64-bit CPUs based on the x86-64 architecture. Sun has heavily marketed Solaris for use with both its own "x64" workstations and servers based on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors, as well as x86 systems manufactured by companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. As of 2009, the following vendors support Solaris for their x86 server systems:

Dell - will "test, certify, and optimize Solaris and OpenSolaris on its rack and blade servers and offer them as one of several choices in the overall Dell software menu"

IBM - also distributes Solaris and Solaris Subscriptions for select x86-based IBM System x servers and BladeCenter servers

Intel

Hewlett-Packard - distributes and provides software technical support for Solaris on ProLiant server and blade systems

Fujitsu Siemens

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