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October 7, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:42pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp and others have been talking about I20 intelligent input output technology for some time, but only now is it generally available. At a trade show in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday, the company introduced the first servers using the I20 software specification, and Intel input-output processors to implement it. The OEMs included Acer America Corp, AST Computer Inc, Compaq Computer Corp, Dell Computer Corp, Gateway 2000 Inc, Hewlett Packard Co, IBM Corp, Micron Electronics Inc, Mitsubishi Electric Co, NEC Corp and NCR Corp. All are promising to ship systems within the next three months. And all are using Intel’s i960RD chip as the co-processor, which sits on the motherboard of a Pentium II or Pentium Pro system and offloads the I/O load, speeding up data throughput and offloading the central CPU. Intel effectively hijacked the I20 standard when it launched the i960RD back in February (CI No 3,092) as an I/O processor specifically designed for the task, implementing a PCI to PCI bridge. No other I/O processors currently support I20. Several of the OEMs opted to use Intel’s own MB440LX board as the basis of their products, which includes dual Pentium II processors, the i960RD, seven PCI slots, dual symbios Logic PCI Ultra-SCSI controllers, integrated RAID and the additional hardware needed to implement I20 architecture functions. Intel says it will be incorporating I20 technology in all future OEM server products. Also on hand for the announcement were operating system vendors. The MB440LX supports Windows NT 4.0, but Microsoft said it was providing OEMs with early versions of NT 5.0 technology in order to support the I20 architecture for block storage in Windows NT Server 4.0. Novell Inc said it would add I20 support to Intranetware and Netware 4.11 by January of next year, and support I20 in Moab, the next version of its server operating system. And the Santa Cruz Operation said it would have an I2O-ready with the release of its System V Release 5 UnixWare product – codenamed Gemini – due out by the end of the year. It will also make a downloadable update to SCO Unixware 2.1.x available this month to support I20 devices.

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