Fujitsu Ltd is to use Intel Corp’s new Pentium II processor to boost flagging sales of its Teamserver departmental servers by gaining an edge on the competition. Sales of its Sparc-based server range have been suffering and the company believes the processor will give it improved performance over competitors’ machines. The Gi models, which have now been released, use either single or dual 233MHz or 266MHz processors. By mid-June, the company will launch the Ci models, with either a 233MHz or 266MHz single processor. Both ranges will support Windows NT, SCO UnixWare, SCO Open Server and Novell IntranetWare. The company claims benchmark results show a 37% performance improvement for a 266MHz Pentium II-based Ci over the 200MHz Pentium Pro-based equivalent. Fujitsu says a 233MHz Gi is in the same price range as Dell Computer Corp’s PowerEdge 2100 which still uses the Pentium Pro. The Ci and Gi range will both initially use the standard Intel chipset, but, towards the end of June, the company will be using its own Pentium II-based chipset, which it hopes will afford a further 15% to 20% performance improvement. It says this is down to the use of dual memory controllers – claimed to double memory bandwidth – datapath optimization for quicker access to memory, and a specific cache for improved I/O performance. The company admits the corporate market the new servers are targeted at won’t get much use of the MMX multimedia extensions included in the Pentium II. But Fujitsu says that data compression algorithms could theoretically be written to use MMX to further increase performance for all users, though it couldn’t provide details. Fujitsu says that, because there is no on-chip cache on the Pentium II, it is potentially much cheaper to build than the Pentium Pro – which it says as a result has struggled to make it into the volume desktop market In fact it wouldn’t be surprised if the Pentium Pro architecture died before the now entry-level Pentium. However, Fujitsu says Pentium II’s are unsuitable for its quad-processor Ji range – instead it will launch a quad still based on the Pentium Pro but with 1MB cache in later this year. Looking further ahead, Fujitsu says it is working on an 8-way machine consisting of two 4-ways clustered together – possibly based on Intel’s next generation Deschutes chip – and this should be available mid 1998. On the NT clustering front, the company says it already has Gi and Ci Teamservers running in its labs clustered with Microsoft’s WolfPack – it’s hoping WolfPack will be with us towards the end of this year, at which point its own High Availability Manager clustering software will be phased out.