Hitachi Ltd and Compagnie des Machines Bull SA have finally inked the OEM agreement we anticipated six months ago (CI No 2,965) under which Hitachi Data Systems will sell Bull’s PowerPC-based SMP Escala servers and Estrella servers and workstations which run AIX. The agreement is effective worldwide except Japan where in its home market Hitachi has an allegiance to Hewlett-Packard Co PA-RISC chip and sells HP workstations and servers as well as its own supercomputer based an a PA-RISC variant. The one-to- eight way departmental Escalas and low-end Estrella workgroup products are priced at from $7,000 to $250,000. Hitachi expects the agreement to be worth around $5m in its first year. The deal has been hung up while Hitachi got its 5700 Series RAID working with the Bull systems and on other unspecified details. Hitachi already OEMs IBM Corp’s SP2 parallel systems as its SR4300 line.