BiiN Inc, the joint Intel-Siemens venture to develop fault tolerant systems around a descendent of the iAPX-432 chip set, has signed a string of senior staff and is now promising product manufacture and announcement by the end of the year. The company, which now numbers some 200 people, has tapped Edwin Gilbert, formerly chief financial officer at Unisys Corp, as vice president, marketing and sales. BiiN president Joseph Kroger is also from Unisys. In addition, a series of executives have been drawn from Siemens and Intel into the new company: Konrad Mayer, formerly of Siemens, becomes vice president and general manager for BiiN Europe. Intel’s Randolph Young becomes BiiN Operations Vice President; Hans Schwarz, already heading the Siemens part of the software design for the new machines, becomes vice president, systems engineering. Also from Siemens is new vice-president and chief financial officer Anthony Bamber, while James Higgs moves over from Intel to become vice president of human resources. The company says it is on schedule to announce its product range which is likely to compete head-on with Tandem Computers, Stratus Computer, IBM and DEC for a wide variety of high-availability applications – before the end of 1988. Clarifying – if only a little – the confusion over the relationship of BiiN to the original 1983 Siemens-Intel collaboration over Intel’s iAPX-432 chip set, a spokesman said that that project had proved too ambitious for the technology then available, but that some of the development staff had subsequently been shifted into the project to develop the BiiN architecture, so it may not be directly derived from the 432, which was conceived for multiprocessing and for Ada.
BiiN remains extremely tight-lipped about its product range, although it will include Unix to some degree. Systems are to be built in both the US and Germany – BiiN’s European headquarters is in Nuremberg – and BiiN will use the manufacturing resources of Intel and/or Siemens for the purpose: it points out that the two giants already have more spare manufacturing capacity in Germany than BiiN expects to need. BiiN also expects to use the service and maintenance facilities of Intel and Siemens, but is keen to emphasise its independence, since it is likely to seek alliances with manufacturers that could well be competitors for its parent companies. It says it will be taking a wide range of different routes to market, ranging from direct sales to probable OEM deals.