18 February 2003 Systems giant Hewlett-Packard will today unveil a new chipset and packaging technology that will enable it to produce more powerful Intel Itanium-based servers.
The new products are intended to demonstrate that while HP will become reliant for chip technology on microprocessor giant Intel, it nevertheless has the capabilities to differentiate its Itanium-based server products from those of rivals.
The sx1000 chipset will enable HP to produce 64-bit Itanium machines with between eight and 64 microprocessors. An sx1000-based server will be demonstrated at the Intel Developer Forum today simultaneously running Microsoft Windows, Linux and HP-UX Unix.
Sx1000-based machines will be available from mid-2003.
At the same time, HP will demonstrate its mx2 packaging technology that will enable two Itaniums to be plugged into a single socket. As a result, HP will be able to produce more powerful high-end servers sporting 128 Itanium microprocessors, twice as many as competitors.
The mx2 package will include two Itanium microprocessors, which will share 32 megabytes of high-speed cache. To reduce power consumption — and to reduce the risk of overheating — the mx2 will also include a power management technique to ‘throttle down’ the power where possible. Mx2-based products are expected to appear from early 2004.
The development of such products is particularly urgent for HP because of its commitment to phase out its own PA-Risc 64-bit server microprocessor in favour of Itanium. The slow development and adoption of Itanium — the result of initially disappointing performance of the chip — forced HP to extend the life of PA-Risc.