Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard are set to introduce new servers based on the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture aimed at the telecommunications industry.
The announcements will be made at the 3GSM World Conference, Feb. 13-16, in Barcelona, Spain.
AdvancedTCA, which the PCI Industrial Computers Manufacturing Group proposed in 2004, is a series of specifications for telecoms. With more than 100 companies participating in the development of the specs, AdvancedTCA is being designed to take advantage of the latest advancements in high-speed Internet connectivity and next-generation processor design, with the goal being a new architecture offering greater reliability and manageability.
Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., is bringing its new UltraSPARC T1 processor to its line of Netra blade and rack systems, said Kirk Mosher, director of marketing for Suns telecommunications hardware group.
Sun unveiled the US T1 chip last fall and in December rolled out the first general-purpose servers—the T1000 and T2000—running on the processor.
The chip offers up to eight processing cores, each of which can run up to four instruction threads simultaneously. The processor also was designed to be more energy-efficient than many of its competitors, which makes it a good fit for the new AdvancedTCA specs, Mosher said. The standard calls for certain power and space requirements for the hardware, including a 200-watt power envelope, he said.
"At 70 watts, the T1 is the perfect processor for ATCA," Mosher said.
The systems also will offer eight memory slots and 16GB of memory—double the current offering.
At the same time Sun is rolling out the T1-based Netra systems, it will continue selling the current servers—based on UltraSPARC IIIi chips—through at least the end of the year, Mosher said.
In addition, because the upcoming Netra rack systems are based on the T2000, users interested in evaluating the systems can get a T2000 as part of Suns try-and-buy program. Telecom customers can evaluate the T2000 and, if satisfied, order the new US T1-based Netra systems when they are released later this year, Mosher said.
For its part, HP is addressing the AdvancedTCA specs through a new blade—the bh5700—powered by single-core Xeon processors from Intel. Future systems include dual-core Xeons and 64-bit Itanium chips from Intel, according to HP.
The bh5700 will start shipping in April.
In a related announcement, Linux vendor Red Hat said it is working to certify the new HP blade on its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 operating system.