IBM is not yet willing to retire its 64-bit Power3 chips in favour of Intel's Itanium processors, preferring to retain its own chip for the premium workstations that will take on Sun, Hewlett-Packard and SGI in the increasingly important graphics niche.
The success of animated movies such as Toy Story and Shrek is bringing workstations into the limelight. Pixar Animation Studios' decision to develop Monsters Inc on the Intellistation platform, despite having Sun Unix servers, is indicative of IBM's inroads into this $7.5bn (£5.31bn) market.
The two new workstation lines comprise one Intellistation Power 265 Unix system and three IBM Pro 32-bit Intel Pentium 4 and Xeon workstations. The Power 265 uses a 450MHz Power3 processor backed by up to 8Gbytes of memory and runs IBM's AIX operating system. The E Pro and M Pro models feature 2.2GHz Intel chips.
The entry level Pentium 4-based E Pro is priced at just over £1,000 while prices for the M series begins at about £2,000.
IBM claims that its support for AIX, Linux with Windows and various video card and monitor options allows it to offer a wide range of capabilities from desktop to powerful scientific models.