Intel hopes to gain on Sun's lead in telco market

Intel has said it is shipping the "building blocks" necessary to construct carrier-grade servers for the telecoms market.

Intel has said it is shipping the "building blocks" necessary to construct carrier-grade servers for the telecoms market.

The new servers are designed to handle telecoms services such as voice over IP, unified messaging and virtual private networking.

The move is an attempt by Intel to make inroads into a market dominated by Sun Microsystems' Netra Servers, said Shantanu Gupta, director of marketing for the telecoms platform in Intel's enterprise server group.

"We want to give our customers a choice - and double the performance at half the price," he added.

Gupta said the server kit - which a computer manufacturer would buy, customise and sell under its own name - consists of a Pentium III processor, motherboard and chassis, and would come first in a 2U size (3.5in) and later in a 1U size.

At the end of next year, Intel plans to release kits containing Xeon processors and in mid-2003 it will introduce an Itanium-based kit.

Gupta said the servers would meet stringent reliability requirements, as defined by the Network Equipment Building Specification and European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Carrier-grade servers comply with telecoms industry requirements for platform ruggedness to survive environmental hazards such as excessive heat and cold, fires and earthquakes, Gupta said.

Gupta said some computer manufacturers are expected to start shipping systems based on the new platforms in the first quarter of next year.

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