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IBM claims major power boost for servers

Caroline Davis


Caroline Davis

Server performance has received a boost with the debut of IBM's silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology.

According to Big Blue, the AS/400e 840s, which use SOI and copper wiring, outperformed rival machines from Sun, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard in benchmark tests. It also claimed the new 24-way AS/400s gave a 360% increase in performance over their predecessors.

Paul Fryer, IBM communications manager of AS/400 Europe, said the SOI chips will be used throughout IBM's product range. "SOI also offers a more efficient use of energy," he said. "It will be used in mobile phones and on laptops to get better battery performance."

The AS/400e servers can concurrently run AIX, Java, Lotus Domino, NT and, in the near future, Linux. IBM has also launched a server dedicated to Domino.

The SOI technology uses an insulating layer between the transistor and the silicon on the processor to prevent current leaking from a chip's circuits. This reduces power consumption, increases efficiency and allows higher processor speeds.

IBM plans to launch an SOI powered RS/6000 Unix server later this year.


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