Despite having made a splash last month when it said it will offer Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron chip in some future servers, IBM is not forgoing Intel Corp.s Itanium technology for 64-bit computing.
IBM early this month unveiled its eServer xSeries x450 server, which comes with four Itanium 2 processors. Officials at the Armonk, N.Y., company said a 16-processor Itanium system could be on the market by years end.
According to IBM, the 4U (7-inch) server is targeted at technical and scientific institutions that run applications requiring high floating-point performance.
A key feature in the x450 server is the use of IBMs Enterprise X-Architecture chip set, which is designed to bring mainframe scalability and reliability into industry-standard servers running Intels 32-bit Xeon and 64-bit Itanium chips. Enterprise X-Architecture also provides the capability for users to pay only for the resources they use, which is a large part of IBMs on-demand computing initiative.
That architecture already has been implemented in Xeon-based servers; it now is being offered for systems powered by the Itanium, according to IBM.
The new system is available now, priced starting at $25,999.
The x450 is the next step in IBMs road map for adding X-Architecture to its xSeries servers, said Jay Bretzmann, director of IBMs eServer xSeries systems. "We will start by shipping a four-way system and introduce the scalable line later this year," Bretzmann said.
IBM late last month announced that it will incorporate AMDs Opteron chip into some servers later this year and will also offer Opteron-powered systems as part of its supercomputing on-demand initiative.
In addition, IBM will incorporate Opteron systems as part of its new deep-computing business.