Fujitsu Packs Itanium 2 Chips into High-End Servers

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-04-05 Print this article Print

Fujitsu's PrimeQuest, a new line of Itanium 2-based servers, is aimed at the high end of the market.

Fujitsu Computer Systems on Tuesday unveiled PrimeQuest, a new line of Itanium 2-based servers aimed at the high end of the market. At a press conference in San Francisco, officials with Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp.—a subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd.—were joined on stage by executives from Intel Corp., Red Hat Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. in the launch of the 16-way 440 and 32-way 480.
The systems will be launched later this week in Japan and Europe. That they were unveiled first in the United States is an indication of the importance Fujitsu Ltd., of Tokyo, is placing on the market here.
"This is the first time Fujitsu has used North America" for a major product launch, said Chiaki Ito, executive vice president for Fujitsu Ltd., underscoring the fact that Fujitsu is more than a Japanese vendor. "Were aiming for a global [market]. In fact, were talking almost one-third of demand coming from Asia, one-third from Europe and one-third from North America." The PrimeQuest systems—which will be generally available in June—offer a combination of power and manageability that the company hopes will enable it to compete with the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM in the high-end space. They are the culmination of a two-year partnership with Intel focused on developing high-end SMP systems running on Intels 64-bit Itanium architecture. When the deal was first announced, officials with both companies spoke about rolling out systems with as many as 128 processors. However, with dual-core computing coming to Itanium processors later this year—with the release of the chip code-named Montecito—and multi-core chips on their way in coming years, the need for such a high number of processors in a single system has lessened, said Richard McCormack, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Fujitsu Computer Systems, in a product prebriefing. With dual-core chips—two processing cores on a single piece of silicon—a 32-way server essentially can do the work of a 64-processor system. Fujitsu also sells its Intel-based Primergy line, which includes a mix of smaller systems running on both Itanium and Xeon processors. Fujitsu is moving into a highly competitive area of the industry. HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., is standardizing its high-end servers on Itanium, with its Integrity line being able to run Windows, Linux and HP-UX. IBM also is pushing Linux on its Power architecture, with systems running the chips also supporting its Unix operating system, AIX. At the same time, both Fujitsu and partner Sun Microsystems Inc. play in the high-end Unix space with their SPARC-based systems. Read more here about Suns plans to collaborate with Fujitsu. The two also are collaborating on a new line of SPARC systems—the Advanced Product Line—which is set to debut in 2006. Next Page: How will PrimeQuest avoid competing with Fujitsus and Suns other servers?

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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