IBM eServer runs fast but keeps its cool with new processor design

IBM eServer runs fast but keeps its cool with new processor design

Insulation between transistors and the silicon base helps prevent overheating, while copper interconnects cut the power consumption

BY PATRICIA DAUKANTAS | GCN STAFF

IBM Corp.'s new 24-processor symmetric multiprocessing server uses the company's latest processors to run faster than its predecessor without running hotter.

The eServer pSeries 680, or p680, is a follow-on to IBM's RS/6000 S80 server. IBM recently renamed all its Unix, Linux and Microsoft Windows NT platforms as part of a rebranding strategy.

The 600-MHz IBM RS64 IV processors inside the p680 incorporate the copper-interconnect and silicon-on-insulator technologies that the company introduced last year. Copper reduces a chip's power consumption, and insulation between transistors and the underlying silicon helps prevent overheating.

Up to 40 percent faster

The RS64 IV chips run up to 40 percent faster than their predecessors do, said Scott Firth, a product marketing manager for IBM's enterprise server group. They are 'a step along the line to the Power4,' the next-generation IBM processor, he said.

The p680 eServer has 4G to 96G of memory, a crossbar interconnect switch to reduce bus bottlenecks and 16M of Level 2 cache per processor.

It runs AIX 4.3.3, IBM's proprietary version of Unix.

Pricing for six-processor p680 eServer starts around $420,000. A fully configured 24-processor system would cost more than $2 million, Firth said.

Contact IBM at 800-426-2255.

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