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March 21, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:17pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The newly reconstituted NT-pushing Axil Computers Inc is going to unwrap its new NT-based eight-way SMP servers this week, making Axil the first house in the industry to be able to deliver such machines. The boxes will be called Northbridge NX 801s after the actual site in Concord, Massachusetts where the first shots in the American Revolution were fired. The designation is ironic considering most of the Northbridge developers, who are housed in Concord, are Brits, inherited from massively parallel designer, Meiko Scientific Ltd, from whence the idea for the Northbridge system sprang. Axil obviously considers the boxes revolutionary in and of themselves as the first beyond-quad NT machines and also in terms of its own destiny as a company. Historically it’s been a $65 million-a-year Sparc/Unix cloner thwarted by rivalry with Sun Microsystems. Its $80bn Hyundai parent wants to see it turn into a $10bn behemoth in 10 years, using NT as its launching point. Such a roadmap will probably require it to become a software house as well, it says, though it’s not quite ready to take that plunge yet. The Northbridge boxes will only use 200MHz Pentium Pro chips, each with a 512Kb level 2 cache, and will only be offered with NT because Unix and NetWare are eating NT’s dust. It can carry a maximum of 8Gb of memory, and 24 hot-swappable drives give it a storage capacity of 216GB. It provides eight PCI and eight EISA expansion slots. Performance is dependent on an I/O subsystem that uses seven on-board UltraSCSI controllers and a proprietary memory subsystem based on the company’s three port Adaptive Memory Crossbar (AMX) switch that connects the processors to the 1GB per-second SDRAM memory subsystem. The four processor versions are likely to prove the most popular, thinks the company. Configurations start with two-way processor systems for around $20,000; four way systems should cost $40,000 and basic eight-way systems should be $80,000. A fully configured system will cost approximately $150,000.

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