Jim Fister, a senior technologist from Intel's Itanium group I interviewed recently, has been reading between the lines in Jonathan Schwartz's blog about the Sun Rock microprocessor. Jim believes Rock will handle all communications through embedded memory, including processor-to-processor links. That could open up a novel space for Sun as it uses Rock to build big symmetric multiprocessing machines for database servers.
I had an interview with David Yen, who recently moved to reconstitute Sun Microelectonics. Details about Rock won't be available for awhile, but he did tease that Rock will include "modern processor features up to now only being discussed in academic papers.
If Fister is right, it will be interesting to see what sort of cracks appear in competitors' plans after Sun throws out this Rock. For its part, Intel is expected to detail this summer its CSI interconnect for linking to future x86 processors.