ClearCube Bolsters Blade Technology

ClearCube Technology Inc. this week upgraded its PC blade technology by adding Intel Corp.s 845E chip set into its R1150 device.

The chip set, which includes a 533MHz front-side bus and integrated USB 2.0 support, supports Intels Hyper-Threading technology in its Pentium 4 chip, which enhances application performance by enabling a single chip to work as two virtual chips, said officials with ClearCube, of Austin, Texas.

ClearCubes upgrade comes the same week that the company announced that Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. has decided to deploy 2,000 of ClearCubes PC blades, workstations and software in a new facility in Westchester, N.Y., which is scheduled to open later this year.

Officials with ClearCube said the Morgan Stanley deal, as well as interest from Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM in PC blade technology, continues to validate a space the company has pioneered.

"We are seeing dominoes fall left and right," said Ken Knotts, senior technologist.

"Were being recognized for what it is, and people are beginning to see what it can do," Chief Technology Officer Barry Thornton added.

ClearCube builds back-end blade computers that attach to traditional keyboards, monitors and mice via Ethernet connections, enabling businesses to remove bulky PCs from desktops while making the computers easier to secure, manage and maintain. The blades are stored in 3U (5.25-inch-high) chassis, with each chassis holding up to eight blades. An interface on the back of the chassis, called BackPack, supplies external connections for the blades, and the Command Port provides the connections to the users desktop.

In mid-June, the company will be adding fiber-optic connectivity to the blades, Knotts said, and later this year will introduce blades with two Intel Xeon chips as well as quad monitors. Thornton said ClearCube is sticking closely with the Intel processor road map.