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The machines are part of NEC's TX7 range and are aimed at technical and research applications, partly because of the lack of enterprise software available for 64-bit platforms, said Chris Shimizu, a spokesman for NEC.
The computers announced by NEC are 32-way and 16-way servers in the floor-standing TX7/i9000 series, and 16-way and 8-way servers in the rack-mount TX7/i6000 series. All machines are offered with either the 1GHz or 900MHz version of the Itanium 2. The maximum memory ranges from 128Gbytes in the top-of-the-range, 32-way i9510 machine to 16Gbytes in the 8-way i6010.
All of the servers include a PCI-X interface bus with the maximum number of I/O slots ranging from 112 on the i9510 to 26 on the i6010. Partitioning is also supported and the i9510, in full 32-way configuration, can be partitioned down to eight 4-processor subsystems with each operating separately. This makes it possible to allocate processor capacity according to workload status, said NEC.
Initially, NEC will sell the machines only in Japan, although the company is willing to consider orders from overseas, said Shimizu. Prices for the machines range from ¥7.46m (£40,845) for the i6010 with a single processor to ¥34.1m (£186,500) for the i9510 with one processor.