Santa Clara, CA
$13.88 billion FY08
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Defense
SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.
THE NETWORK IS THE COMPUTER
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Sun Microsystems, Inc. is one of Silicon Valley’s most famous startups. Sun was born in 1982 when four Bay Area tech gurus created a new class of inexpensive workstations to perform tasks that previously required costly mainframes or minicomputers. Sun Microsystems was founded in 1982 by Bill Joy, a doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley, Andreas Bechtolsheim, a doctoral student at Stanford University, and two graduates of the Stanford business school, Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy. Their goal was to commercialize hardware and software technologies developed at UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
The design of Sun Microsystems’ first workstations was based on the Stanford University Network (SUN) workstation engineered by Bechtolsheim. The company also used the Berkeley version of the Unix operating system developed by Joy.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a major supplier of software, microchips, and computer workstations. Its core brands include Java, the Solaris operating system, and the UltraSPARC microprocessor. Sun sells a wide array of high-end computer servers used in the construction of data centers and IT networks. It also created the Java programming language that developers can use to create software once, so that it can then be used on any computer (Windows, Apple, Linux, etc.) and devices such as cell phones.
In April 2009, it was announced that Sun would be acquired by Oracle Corp. for $7.4 billion.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
Sun Microsystems was founded in 1982 by Bill Joy, a doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley, Andreas Bechtolsheim, a doctoral student at Stanford University, and two graduates of the Stanford business school, Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
Work on the Stanford University Network (SUN) workstation at Stanford was funded by the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA also supported the development of the Berkeley version of Unix.
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