Chip gives HP servers 30% boost

Hewlett-Packard has pressed ahead with its PA-Risc development by releasing a chip designed to improve the performance of its...

Hewlett-Packard has pressed ahead with its PA-Risc development by releasing a chip designed to improve the performance of its high-end servers and workstations by about 30%.

The release comes at a time when the company is contemplating the take-over of Compaq and planning a transition to 64-bit Intel processors.

These developments will mean a massive influx of platforms and operating systems for HP, giving rise to speculation about the future strategy of the company.

Gary Barnett, principal consultant at Ovum, said, "For the time being, the Compaq deal will have little impact on HP's PA-Risc and HP-UX [Unix] markets because a high-end server strategy is a not-just-for-Christmas infrastructure and systems bought today will still be used for many years to come."

The PA-8700 chip will be used in the HP Superdome server and mid-range rp7400 and rp8400 systems. It will also appear in c3700 and j6700 workstations.

For upgrading, HP claims that compatibility with previous chips means that it is a simple board swap operation to introduce the 650MHz and 750MHz processors.

HP will face the challenge of integrating Compaq's Tru64 Unix systems with its own technology should the take-over bid be approved.

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