Relates to the SPARC architecture of CPUs, originally designed by Sun Microsystems and intended to run the Solaris operating system. Similar to the UltraSPARC CPU line, the terms "sparc" and "UltraSPARC" are frequently interchangeable.
The term "SPARC" (Scalable Processor ARChitecture) was coined for the RISC-based CPU introduced by Sun Microsystems in the late 1980s. Fabrication is currently done by Fujitsu, but the "OpenSPARC" project allows others to adopt the CPU design.
The initial layout took elements from the RISC I and RISC II CPUs and attempted to simplify the design to match the execution behavior of the MIPS processors, effectively "marrying" aspects of both architectures.