Sun Microsystems has said it is ahead of schedule for delivering a chip for its high-end servers that will have eight processor cores to speed performance.
At the Oracle Openworld Conference in San Francisco last month, Sun executives said the new Niagara chip could be ready in servers before the planned "early 2006" target deadline.
Sun confirmed it will sell Niagara with six or even four cores, as a result of recycling eight-core processors that have gone wrong in the manufacturing process.
Sun maintains these chips are suitable for four- and six-core processing, despite the defects.
Niagara is the first of Sun's second generation of processors based on CMT (chip multi-threading) technology. It is being designed with eight cores, each running four threads for a total of 32 threads at a time.
Sun said this would deliver several times the throughput of current processor designs with lower power consumption and less heat dissipation.