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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • NEC, Hitachi, Fujitsu Unveil New Xeon Servers
  • February 2, 1999 (TOKYO) — Personal computer makers are unveiling a variety of PC servers equipped with the new Pentium II Xeon microprocessor.
    NEC Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. announced new models that utilize original technologies to enable a single server to feature up to eight-way multiprocessing.

    The releases follow Intel Corp.’s Jan. 6 launch of the new Xeon microprocessor.

    Most of the new servers are only slightly different from their predecessors, with the major changes being the inclusion of the new microprocessor.

    All makers are striving to revamp their high-end server models. They hope that the appearance of new machines equipped with Xeon chips will help boost sales in the overall PC server market.

    Japan’s market for PC servers is showing signs of slowing down. Business users are moving to unify the types of servers they operate, or even returning to the use of UNIX machines to reduce the costs of managing systems with a range of different server types.

    The three computer makers have selected Intel’s 450NX chipset for their server models capable of accommodating up to four Xeon chips.

    Also, NEC, Hitachi and Fujitsu plan to offer models equipped with up to eight Xeon microprocessors, using original chipsets that they developed internally.

    Intel is scheduled to start shipping another chipset that can handle eight Xeon microprocessors in the first half of this year. The chipset is known by its development code name of Profusion. Compaq Computer KK of Japan and Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd. already said that they have selected the Intel chipset.

    Depending on the performance level of the Profusion chipset, the three Japanese makers that have developed their own eight-way multiprocessing servers could have difficulties in differentiating their products from those of major competitors. To counter this potential problem the three companies already are thinking of ways to combine the Intel chipset with their own technologies.

    An NEC official said this is necessary to stay a step ahead.

    NEC has devised a method to link two individual 450NX chipsets, each fitted with four Xeon processors, to construct an eight-way multiprocessing server configuration.

    If the company can apply the same method to link two of the 8-chip Profusion chipsets, then it should be able to build a server with 16-way multiprocessing. Hitachi and Fujitsu are apparently following the same strategy.

    (Nikkei Computer)

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