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August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

With production versions of the 64-bit PowerPC 620 said to be on course for around the year-end, IBM Corp is looking at October 1997 deliveries for its 620-based systems. PCI-based symmetric multiprocessing servers will be released next year too. The quandary IBM is in is whether to go the Sun Microsystems Inc or Digital Equipment Corp route to 64-bit Unix; either to roll 64-bit functionality into AIX piecemeal a la Solaris or go the whole hog at once like DEC. IBM is also evaluating several distributed shared memory architectures with a view to implementing some kind of NUMA capability around 1998-99. Meantime, the parallel SP systems are driving RS/6000 business, so much so that it is said to be having trouble meeting manufacturing requirements. In 1995 it had 3,010 technical and 3,773 commercial SP nodes installed and sold around 700 systems. In the first six months of this year it says it installed around 2,000 technical and commercial nodes apiece and shipped 127 technical and 260 commercial systems. It is aiming to deliver 900 SPs in the year, just about doubling the overall installed base. In the first six months of this year SP sales accounted for between 15% and 17% of RS/6000’s revenue. Workgroup servers did 24%, enterprise servers 29%, large servers 15% and workstations 32%.

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