IBM claims a 20%-30% efficiency improvement with its latest processor technology compared with existing chips. The silicon-on-insulator technology uses a glass insulating layer between the transistor and the silicon on the processor to prevent current leaking from the chip's circuits. This lowers power consumption, increases efficiency and allows higher processor speeds, IBM said. The AS/400e 800 server, which features the new technology, will be available in August.
A range of mid-range Unix servers using copper microprocessor technology has been announced by IBM. The RS/6000 M80, H80 and F80 use processors with a coating to reduce cross-talk between the copper wires on the chip and increase performance. IBM is to manufacture Alpha processors for Compaq using the copper technology, but may later use silicon-on-insulator. Hewlett-Packard is expected to license silicon-on-insulator for its own processors.
Intel unveiled a high-end processor this week that it says will speed up large Web sites and boost the performance of e-business applications by up to a half. The Intel Pentium III Xeon chips will be used in high-end, four- and eight-way multiprocessor servers. The chip has 2Mbytes of memory, 140 million transistors and will run at 700MHz. Intel also announced a 933MHz Pentium III processor for PCs. A Xeon version will also be available.
Fujitsu Siemens has brought out three Intel-based servers in its Primergy range. The four-way servers use 550MHz Pentium III Xeon processors and support Windows 2000 and Linux. The Primergy N400 is designed for server farm and datacentre implementation. The Primergy H400 is being promoted as a scalable enterprise server for business-critical applications and the Primergy K400 is a stand-alone server with a 432Gbyte hard drive for high volume applications such as databases. Fujitsu Siemens has also reorganised all its enterprise servers, using the Primepower brand for Unix-based servers and Primergy for Intel-based servers.
Compaq's Nonstop Himalaya server now provides support for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. The company has also unveiled the new S74 range of the performance, high availability NonStop Himalaya series.