Long-suffering Axil Computer Inc, the Hyundai Electronics America subsidiary that bought into the Sparc clone myth hook, line and sinker years back, is moving into the NT business (CI No 3,103). Axil, based in Santa Clara, California, is going to be the worldwide distribution vehicle for those NT-on-Intel-based eight- way boxes that Hyundai has quietly been developing (CI No 3,080). Axil is serious enough about the venture to have named Charles Wilson, the man who spearheaded the machine’s development, as its new chief executive officer and president, displacing Axil’s long-time marketing vice-president William Shellooe, who was named for those same posts only last October, when Hyundai decided to reinstate control of the company to American-born management. Shellooe has now left the company. According to our sister newsletter ClieNT Server News, it was Hyundai’s indecisiveness these last weeks about whether to utilize Axil for the Pentium Pro machines that kept it so quite on its plans for the new systems. Wilson’s credits include a stint as group manager at Digital Equipment Corp’s Massively Parallel Systems Group. Axil is set to announce the technology this week and release the actual symmetrical multi-processing boxes next month.
Meiko Scientific heritage
The technology – or at least the engineers who developed it – derives from Meiko Scientific Ltd, a UK concern that moved to the US to work on Sparc-based massively parallel supercomputers. When Meiko closed down the Massachusetts-based unit where it had been working on the vector processing side of a 250-node system that ended up at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, that operation re- formed as Ixia Corp and started work on the Hyundai project. The technology is called AMX, short for Adaptive Memory Crossbar, and was created by Axil’s new chief technology officer Gerald Talbot, co-founder of both Meiko Scientific Ltd and Ixia Corp. AMX is said to be similar to Corollary Inc’s Profusion scheme. Axil has its own interconnect, ASIC chips and processor boards. The company claims that AMX has greater bandwidth and more performance than the competition. Axil is the first defector in the Sparc ranks, although it plans to continue with its Sparc machines: Axil stuck with the Sparc processor despite the stunted market that the ever-competitive Sun Microsystems Inc itself created, because Sun could not resist devouring its own young. Meanwhile, Axil Computer Inc is building alliances with NT software vendors and resellers.