Also stands for Ultra Port Architecture, a sort of expansion bus found on Sun's UltraSPARC-based workstations (and some servers). It's broadly analogous to AGP in the x86 world, though UPA is actually somewhat closer to the metal, essentially allowing a UPA peripheral to connect straight to the UltraSPARC CPU's frontside bus. Also, unlike AGP, a system can have more than one UPA slot, even with a single processor.
UPA made its debut on the Sun Ultra 1 Creator, which included a horizontal-formfactor UPA slot, as did the later Ultra 2 and Enterprise 450. These cards fit in parallel to the motherboard. The Creator3D and Elite3D in all their variations were produced in this form factor, but none of the later cards were. The vertical UPA slot, which accepted cards that fit perpendicular to the motherboard like PCI or AGP, first appeared in the Sun Ultra 10. While technically it appeared in the Ultra 5 as well, since it used the same motherboard as the Ultra 10, it was blocked by the case. All future Sun SPARC workstations included at least one vertical UPA slot, save the Blade 100. The Ultra 30, 60 and 80, and the Sun Blade 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500 have 2 UPA slots, allowing the use of two cards.
Though Sun never explicitly forbade it, no third-party company ever produced a UPA card. Further, though it was technically possible, no type of card other than a graphics accelerator ever used the UPA bus.
Listing of known UPA cards
- Creator Series 1 (FFB1) - 2D/minimal 3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Creator3D Series 1 (FFB1) - 2D/3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Creator Series 2 (FFB2) - Faster 2D/minimal 3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Creator3D Series 2 (FFB2) - Faster 2D/3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Creator Series 3 (FFB2+) - Much faster 2D/minimal 3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Creator3D Series 3 (FFB2+) - Much faster 2D/3D card. Horizontal and vertical
- Elite3D M3 (AFB) - Midrange 2D/3D card. Horizontal and vertical.
- Elite3D M6 (AFB) - High powered 2D/3D card. Horizontal and vertical.
- Expert3D (IFB) - High powered 2D/3D card. Vertical only. (The Expert3D Lite was PCI) There was also a PCI version of the full-on IFB; the UPA one is hard to find.
- XVR-1000 (GFB) - High-powered 2D/3D card with general-purpose dual-core processor. Vertical only, double-wide. Only one of these will fit in an Ultra 30, 60 or 80.