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At Long Last, Intel Announces Profusion

After months of delays, Intel Corp. announced today its Profusion chipset, which enables eight-way Pentium III processor based servers.

Intel claims that more than twenty OEMs will announce systems based on the technology in the coming weeks. Several OEMs, in fact, have already demonstrated benchmarks, showing as much as 1.5 times the scalability of existing 4-way Intel-based platforms.

The performance gains, which vendors claim positions the chipset as capable of performing in the league of RISC processors, are expected to enable Intel-based Windows NT/2000 servers to move up in the enterprise.

Both Compaq Computer Corp. and Dell Computer Corp., plan to target new markets with 8-way servers, such as ISPs and ASPs.

Dell’s brand manager for the 8450, Pat Patla, expects that many companies will purchase 8-way machines because of their expandability.

"Although the machines will at first be rolled out with NT 4.0, we are seeing a lot of customers want them with the plan in mind to upgrade to Windows 2000 at some point within 2 years," Patla says.

Servers based on the Profusion chipset are also gaining industry support from other operating systems than Windows. The systems will run Linux, NetWare, Solaris and UnixWare.

Intel also announced three new Pentium III Xeon processors. The 550 MHz processors incorporate 512 KB, 1 MB and 2 MB of Level 2 cache. -- Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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