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December 10, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 1:58pm


By CBR Staff Writer

We’ve found a big brother for Superdome, the high-end Unix SMP server which will supersede Hewlett-Packard Co’s existing V-Class server around 2000 (CI No 3,305), and it’ll likely use Intel Corp’s second turn of the IA-64 instruction set we’ve also uncovered, called McKinley. HP says it may skip Merced altogether for this server, depending on time scales. Intel Corp didn’t sound best pleased and as usual refused to shed any light on the part. HP’s current V2200 server is based upon its Convex Computer subsidiary’s V-Series HyperPlane technology and will scale to 32 PA-8200 CPUs next year. Superdome (which has grown out of a half- dome research and development project) will presumably incorporate Convex’s high-end X-Series technology and will scale to 64 CPUs. For the record, rival Sun Microsystems Inc’s Starfire already accommodates 64 processors. HP says Superdome and its big brother could conceivably ship with PA-8500 in their initial iterations but if the timing of Intel’s production means it can move directly to IA-64 then Superdome will be fitted with Merced and its big brother with McKinley. HP says Superdome will deliver up to 400,000 tpm transactions per minute across a terabyte bandwidth system bus. HP’s first IA-64-ready offering, the mid- range Prelude system design, initially a PA-8500 box, is being positioned as an eight-way web server; putting four Merced-based Preludes in a rack will deliver 250,000 tpms, HP believes. Prelude may get a PA-8700 refresh before Merced depending on time scales. It will take two years from Prelude’s introduction next year to calve four- and two-way systems that will fill out the low-end server product range. HP says Prelude’s new Stretch system bus will offer many times the bandwidth of K-Class’ Hawks architecture. There will be PA-8500 and likely PA-8700 upgrades for the existing K-Class models and low-end D-Class servers. The T 520 and 600 series servers will get memory and I/O upgrades. With Merced due in the second half of 1999, and going on PA-RISCs delivery pipeline, HP’s system folk figure they’ll get samples on which to start testing the operating system and application performance six to nine months earlier.

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