IBM, Gateway Make Dual-Core Xeon Servers

The companies will be followed by a host of others in providing the first systems containing Intel's dual-core chips.

IBM and Gateway Inc. are preparing to bring Intel Corp.s upcoming dual-core Xeon processors into IBMs server lines.

In addition, IBM is adding a pricing promotion to one of its systems in hopes of quickly ramping up sales of the new technology.

The two companies are among a slew of systems makers expected to make similar announcements Monday when Intel unveils its dual-core Xeon chips.

Dell Inc., of Round Rock, Texas, late last month said it was putting the chip into its single- and dual-socket systems, including the PowerEdge 1850, 2800 and 2850 servers and 1855 blade servers, as well as Precision 470 and 670 workstations.

Spokespeople for Hewlett-Packard Co. and MPC Computers LLC also have said their companies will roll out systems with the dual-core chips.

IBM of Armonk, N.Y., will announce that it will begin shipping the two-socket x346 with the new chip this month, and the two-socket x336 in November. IBM is one of many systems makers preparing to roll out new and upgraded systems running the chip when Intel announces it on Monday.

/zimages/2/28571.gifDell is already taking orders for dual-core servers. Read more here.

The x346 is a 2U (3.5-inch) rack system that will run on dual-core Xeons with speeds of up to 2.8GHz, 2GB of DDR (double data rate) 2 memory, dual-gigabit Ethernet and a single hot-swap power supply. Pricing and specs on the x336 will come as the shipping date gets closer, according to IBM.

Both servers will be equipped with IBMs eXtended Design Architecture, or XDA, technology, which is designed to bring features developed in the mainframe world to the companys volume servers.

For example, the systems will have eight memory sockets and four PCI slots. In addition, they also will be equipped with IBMs Calibrated Vectored Cooling, which enables IBM to put more components in a smaller footprint while not increasing the thermal demands or heat generation, key considerations as customer try to pack more power into smaller systems.

In conjunction with the announcement, IBM is selling the dual-core x346 at the same price as its single-core system, $2,969, in hopes of speeding adoption.

For its part, Gateway of Irvine, Calif., next month will ship the two-socket E-9510T tower server and the E-9415R rack system armed with the dual-core Xeons.

The E-9510T will offer up to six Serial ATA drives or up to 10 SCSI drives, as well as redundant and hot-swap fans and power units. The E-9415R will offer up to three SATA or SCSI drives, and also have redundant power.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about Intels broader server vision.

Tim Diefenthaler, senior director of product marketing at Gateway, said customers have been asking for dual-core systems, particularly as Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Opteron processor has gained traction in the commercial space and in the wake of Sun Microsystems Inc. unveiling its new line of "Galaxy" systems running the chip. Sun has bragged that those chips are faster and cost less than comparable Dell models.

AMD released dual-core versions of the chip in April. Intel initially was scheduled to release the first of its dual-core chips in early 2006, but moved up the date to Monday.

An Intel spokesperson said Intel was able to do this because of the work of its engineers and the health of the silicon.

Dual-core chips have two processor cores on each single piece of silicon, giving end users more performance in essentially the same size package.

Diefenthaler said some customers are hoping to use the technology to grow their dual-processor servers into four-way systems without having to buy more hardware.

It also enables a systems maker like Gateway, whose largest system is a four-way, to extend its market reach to businesses looking for boxes that can do the work of eight-processor servers. It also will help Gateway and storage partner Hitachi Data Systems compete more closely with the likes of the Dell-EMC Corp. partnership.

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