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  • Fujitsu Unveils Mainframe to Counter IBM’s S/390 G5
  • February 4, 1999 (TOKYO) — Fujitsu Ltd. announced a new model of the GRANPOWER 8800 Series mainframes to compete directly against IBM Japan Ltd.’s S/390 G5 mainframe.
    The Fujitsu model is due to be available in the spring of 1999. The IBM Japan model has been on the market since the third quarter of 1998.

    Fujitsu plans to sell 300 boxes (each with an average of four processors) to Japanese users in three years.

    The new GRANPOWER 8800 model has third-generation complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processors running at 125 millions of instructions per second (MIPS), making the performance 50 percent higher than that of second-generation CMOS chips. It also has improved scalability, for instance, with 16 processors allowable in the maximum configuration. Second-generation machines can have a maximum of 12 symmetrical multiprocessors (SMPs).

    In January 1998, Fujitsu announced the GRANPOWER 8800 (12SMP) with performance per CMOS chip being 20 percent higher than that of the IBM S/390 G4.

    In May 1998, IBM announced the G5 processor with 120 MIPS performance in a 10 SMP configuration, which is faster than the S/390 G4 by 60 percent. It resulted in the predominance of IBM that continued until recently, because the SMP total performance of the S/390 G5 surpassed that of Fujitsu machines by 50 percent.

    However, in this countermeasure, Fujitsu achieved a 16 SMP configuration against the maximum of 10 SMPs in the G5, though its per-processor performance is still behind G5 by 20 percent. With the above features, Fujitsu’s machine can run at 1,075 MIPS in a 12 SMP configuration, almost equivalent to the power of G5 at 1,040 MIPS.

    Moreover, it can run at about 1,300 MIPS in a 16 SMP configuration, which makes the machine more powerful than the S/390 G5 by 25 percent.

    Fujitsu’s U.S. subsidiary, Amdahl Corp., has been delivering the Millennium 800 Series, which corresponds to the new model of the GRANPOWER 8800, since the first quarter of 1998.

    It is suspected that IBM may release a more powerful machine, the G6, in 1999.

    Hitachi Ltd. will provide its mainframe to overseas markets. The Skyline II running OS/390 will be sold in the summer of fall of 1999 through Hitachi Data System Corp. of the United States. The Skyline II has the uni-processor performance of 280 MIPS. The machine can run at 2,400 MIPS in a 12 SMP configuration, so Hitachi may take the lead in the performance race.

    Related story: Hitachi to Sell Super Servers in 2000 Without Merced Chips

    (Nikkei Watcher on IT Business)



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