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NEC Corp’s passing on Intel Corp’s i960 Madrona motherboard which implements the I2O input/output management specification, preferring instead to use a board from little-known Reliance Computer Corp on RAID controller boards for its Express 58000 servers it says will provide 20% greater throughput than those built with the Intel technology. NEC says the RCC chipset, called Championship, will enable it to deliver some significant differentiation over the majority of Intel server companies which are using the Madrona design. NEC expects the NEC Computer Systems division of Packard Bell NEC Inc to begin shipping the systems in the US in January; they may hit the streets a month or so earlier in Japan. NEC has a minority shareholding in RCC and is the foundry for RCC’s ASICs. NEC says I2O will provide most benefit to mid-range servers priced from $5,000. Four-, six- and eight-way Pentium Pro systems – Pentium IIs once Intel ships the Slot 2 Deschutes part – are still likely to implement the I/O on separate add-in PCI cards instead of an integrated single board for better scaling and expandability options. NEC designs some low-end uniprocessor and dual-processor servers at its Boston, Massachusetts site, but most Express5800 development takes place in Japan. NEC will introduce a new low-end Pentium II-based ES1200 server designed for up to 25 users at Comdex priced at from $2,300. All Express5800 servers with Esmpro 1.2 management and ExpressBuilder installation software. á

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