IBM Corp is transferring all of its RS/6000 Unix server and workstation manufacturing from Austin, Texas, to its AS/400 production lines in Rochester, Minnesota. IBM says it will relocate all of the several hundred employees affected who wish to head north. In addition the division is also shedding 400 of its 3,000 staff worldwide, all of whom it expects to be absorbed by other IBM divisions. IBM says putting RS/6000 manufacturing under AS/400’s charge continues a trend in other geographies. Plants in Italy and Australia that turn out both AS/400s and RS/6000s already report to Rochester. IBM expects Rochester to begin full RS/6000 production by the end of the year and it will turn out some components sooner. It says economies of scale resulting from the use of shared components across the two lines prompted the move; they’ll share even more technology as new generations of SMP servers are delivered into both product lines later this year. It will be Rochester’s first attempt at building workstations. IBM says it doesn’t mean the beginning of the end for the discrete AIX and OS/400 product lines. RS/6000’s SP parallel systems will continue to be manufactured in Poughkeepsie, New York, while other PC manufacturing remains in Austin. The RS/6000 division says the loss of 400 staff from its ranks reflects the consolidation of the formerly separate PowerParallel, Power Personal and RS/6000 teams into a single unit with one virtual marketing, development and finance team worldwide. There’s expected to be an equivalent rationalization and simplification of RS/6000 product lines in the near future.