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March 14, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:05pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The I20 Intelligent Input-Output Special Interest Group, supported by Compaq Computer Corp and a host of other server manufacturers (CI No 2,944), has agreed to extend its I20 architecture to support the PCI bus Hot Plug specification. The support will enable customers to expand, upgrade or replace PCI cards without taking servers off-line. The group, which has its base in San Francisco, has held two compliance workshops for its architecture in conjunction with Microsoft Corp and Novell Inc – who along with the Santa Cruz Operation Inc are providing operating system and development support for I20 – agreeing, for instance, on a common driver model for multiple operating systems. I20 is a standard technical interface specification for high-performance input-output systems, intended to improve input- output throughput and overall systems performance by taking the load of interrupt-intensive task away from the central processing unit, memory and system bus. It supports single processor, multi- processor and clustered systems, though Intel Corp’s i960 is currently the only processor to directly integrate the specification (CI No 3,092). The Special Interest Group, with 90 members, was formed in January 1996. The first products, in the local area network and storage area, have begun to emerge. At CeBit in Hannover yesterday, Supermicro Computer Inc, San Jose, California, claimed pole position with the first I20-ready server available in production quantities. The dual Pentium Pro P6DNH uses an Intel i960 RP-based input-output processor. Future versions will support RAID, peer-to-peer, Fiber Channel and wide area networking.

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