IBM Unveils Itanium 2 Server

Move follows IBM's announcement last week that it will begin offering AMD's 64-bit Opteron chip in some future servers.

IBM may have caused a splash last week when officials said it would begin offering Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron chip in some future servers. But that doesnt mean the tech giant is forgoing Intel Corp. technology for 64-bit computing.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., on Wednesday unveiled an Itanium 2-powered server, the four-processor x450, and has said that a 16-way Itanium system could be on the market by the end of 2003.

According to IBM, the 4U server is targeted at such users as technical and scientific institutions, which run applications that require high floating point performance.

A key feature in the new server is the use of IBMs Enterprise X Architecture chip set, which is designed to bring mainframe scalability and reliability—as well as the capability for users to pay only for the resources they use, which is a large part of IBMs on demand computing initiative—into industry-standard servers running Intels 32-bit Xeon and 64-bit Itanium chips.

That architecture already has been implemented in Xeon-based servers; it now is being offered for systems powered by Itanium, according to IBM.

The new system is available now, starting at $25,999.

IBM last week announced that it would incorporate AMDs Opteron chip into some servers later this year, and also will offer Opteron-powered systems as part of its supercomputing on demand initiative. In addition, IBM also will incorporate Opteron systems as part of its new deep computing business.

However, IBM has already thrown support behind Itanium as well, including working on versions of DB2 and WebSphere optimized for the 64-bit chip.

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