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Fujitsu offers new servers and faster chips

Fujitsu Technology Solutions (FTS) has said that it will revamp the midrange of its Unix server line this year and introduce faster processors for all of its systems by 2003.

FTS will start shipping a new 32 processor PrimePower server in December and then follow that product release by increasing chip speeds across its server line in the first quarter of 2003, said Richard McCormack, vice-president of product marketing at FTS.

The PrimePower systems use Fujitsu's own scalable processor architecture (SPARC) chips and the Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems. Fujitsu has long sold in the Asian markets but has used its FTS arm to begin tapping the North American market.

FTS will deliver the 32 processor PrimePower 1500 server in December with 810MHz SPARC64 processors. The company currently ships up to 16 processor servers with these chips.

FTS will upgrade its PrimePower line in March of 2003, adding processors with speeds up to 1.3GHz. This could give the company a further edge in several benchmarks where its 128-processor PrimePower 2500 holds a lead over competitors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun, according to McCormack.

However, these competitors are also expected to upgrade their processors by 2003.

The faster chips will include technology called Hardware Instruction Retry that has been used by Fujitsu on mainframe class systems. This technology helps correct errors caused by outside interference from factors such as sunspots and alpha particles.

As processors shrink in size due to improved manufacturing processes, FTS claims that the chips will be more susceptible to errors caused by these conditions.

"Processor sizes are shrinking and shrinking to the point where these gamma rays and other problems can affect the processors on a frequent basis," McCormack said.

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