Pioneering chip technology is being used in the newest member of the AS/400 family due out in August to more than triple the speed of IBM's midrange server family.
The 800 family announced earlier this week will be powered by a new PowerPC processor, the IStar, which is based on silicon on insulator chip technology.
IBM claims the silicon-on-insulator technology is up to 30% faster than current copper-based chips. The technology enables the processor to use less power to operate which reduces heat and improves performance.
Another aspect of the 800 family is a cross-bar switch based on the technology on IBM's RS/6000 S80 Unix server. Using the cross-bar switch IBM said communications between the processor, memory and peripheral devices on the new AS/400 is up to 8 gigabits per second.
Top of the AS/400 range is the 840 series that supports up to 24 processors, 96Gbytes of memory and 18.9Terabytes of disc storage. Ian Jarman, product manager at IBM, said, "The 840 is more than three and a half times as fast as our fastest AS/400."