Sun Neptune

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Neptune, also known as Sun Multithreaded 10 GbE, is a dual 10 Gbit/s, multithreaded, PCIe x8-based network interface controller for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. It was developed and originally produced by Sun Microsystems, and later licensed to Marvell Technology Group in 2007.[1]

A Neptune-based NIC is integrated in UltraSPARC T2 CPUs (Network Interface Unit, or NIU).[2]

NIC Features[edit]

Stand-alone vs on-chip (NIU) Neptune Features[2]
Features NIU PCI-E NIC
# 10GbE ports 2 2
# transmit DMA channels/port 8 12
# receive DMA channels/port 8 8
Integrated on-chip? UltraSPARC T2 No
Bus interface? No 8 lane PCI Express
Bus bandwidth limit? No 16 Gbit/s each direction
Transmit packet classification Software Software
Receive packet classification Hardware Hardware


  1. ^ Ashlee Vance (April 3, 2007). "Marvell gets [SIC] on Sun's NIC: Licensee located on Neptune". The Register. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  2. ^ a b 10 Gigabit Ethernet on UltraSPARC T2 - weblog from Pure See

External links[edit]