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Intel calls for industry to support post PCI specification

Company claims already has products in its labs

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Intel has spelled out future directions it will take after the PCI bus has reached its natural end, and said that it already had designed products based on new designs. That follows an early statement two days ago, when the head of IO at Intel US, Mitch Schultz, said that the PCI-X spec endorsed by IBM, HP and Compaq would not fulfil future computing needs. John Miner, VP and general manager of Intel’s enterprise server group, said at a keynote speech at the Intel Developers Forum that the future requirements of high end servers would not be served by PCI. He said: “There is a significant amount of headroom in PCI still to be used in the industry. The PCI special interest group (SIG) will work closely together to make the PCI bus as good as it can be. However, if you look at the future requirements of servers, there are significant needs that cannot be met by extensions to the PCI bus.” That became particularly evident in multiprocessor systems, said Miner. “The PCI bus puts a significant load on the system processor. In a four way system, one of the processors does nothing but process PCI interrupts, “ he said. He claimed that in a transaction processing requirement, the ability to add thousands of devices was critical. “Out of the box expansion would be nice and it would also be nice to have a very high availability giving a near non stop environment,” he said. He said: “We will work with the SIG and continue to innovate around the PCI bus. And we will work with the industry on next generation IO technology that addresses future needs.” * Miner said that Intel has cooperated with the different Unix vendors to create a specification for interfaces available for the Unix/Linux community.

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