SPARC (from "scalable processor architecture") is a RISC instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by Sun Microsystems and introduced in mid-1987.
SPARC is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc., an organization established in 1989 to promote the SPARC architecture, manage SPARC trademarks, and provide conformance testing. Implementations of the original 32-bit SPARC architecture were initially designed and used in Sun's Sun-4 workstation and server systems, replacing their earlier Sun-3 systems based on the Motorola 68000 series of processors. Later, SPARC processors were used in SMP and CC-NUMA servers produced by Sun, Solbourne and Fujitsu, among others, and designed for 64-bit operation.
SPARC International was intended to open the SPARC architecture to make a larger ecosystem for the design, which has been licensed to several manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, Atmel, Cypress Semiconductor, and Fujitsu. As a result of SPARC International, the SPARC architecture is fully open, non-proprietary and royalty free.
In March 2006, the complete design of Sun's UltraSPARC T1 microprocessor was released in open-source form at OpenSPARC.net and named the OpenSPARC T1. In 2007, the design of Sun's UltraSPARC T2 microprocessor was also released in open-source form as OpenSPARC T2.
As of July 2016, the latest commercial high-end SPARC processors are Fujitsu's SPARC64 X+ (introduced in 2014 for its SPARC M10 server) and SPARC64 XIfx (introduced in 2015 for its PRIMEHPC FX100 supercomputer); and Oracle's SPARC M7 (introduced in October 2015 for its high-end servers).
SPARC is an instruction set architecture.
SPARC may also refer to:
- SPARC Innovation Program, a research program at Mayo Clinic and its "See-Plan-Act-Refine-Communicate" method
- Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
- Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation
- Social and Public Art Resource Center, a community arts center in Venice, California
- School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, a nonprofit performing arts education organization in Richmond, Virginia
- Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers in India
- Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child in Pakistan
- Sport and Recreation New Zealand, the former name of Sport New Zealand, the Crown entity responsible for sport and recreation in New Zealand
- Stratospheric Processes And their Role in Climate, a project of the World Climate Research Programme
- Osteonectin, a glycoprotein also known as SPARC (Secreted Protein, Acidic and Rich in Cysteine)