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IBM introduces Power3, promises gigachip by 2001

Spate of RS announcements to arrive Monday

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IBM will on Monday announce a spate of products based around its RS business unit including iteration three of its Power processor intended for serious number crunching. Future iterations of the Power 3 will use CMOS 7S copper interconnect technology, and silicon on insulator (SOI). A gigachip will arrive in 2001. The company said the Power 3 will be used in its 43P Model 260 graphical workstation, and has eight execution units fed by a 64Gbps memory subsystem. It will also use a method called hardware memory pre-fetch. Other products IBM will introduce include Intellistations workstation using the Pentium II 450 Xeon chips, IBM Workgroup Conferencing for AIX, the RS S70 advanced, and a fresh revision of AIX, version 4.3.2. Ian Roscoe, business manager of the RS/6000 unit at IBM Emea, said that his company was maintaining a dual strategy on workstations, with some working on Unix and some on NT. "There's a large number of customers in the Unix environment who look at getting high performance," he said. In addition to the RS 43P model 260, IBM will also introduce the 43P model 150. The Intellistations are the M Pro, aimed at 2D and 3D applications, and the high end Z Pro. Subsystems include a maximum capacity of 2Gb of 100MHz ECC memory and 82Gb storage capacity. The S70 Advanced uses the RS64-II PowerPC chips, but IBM said that it can now be attached to its RS/6000 "Stealth" SP as an external node. This forms part of IBM's plans to connect many of its boxes together -- next year, Big Blue will create a way of linking Intel NetFinity servers to SPs. Roscoe said that version 4.3.2 of AIX gave better workstation and graphics performance, scalability and interoperability. "We've created a level of stability for the OS from now until the end of 2000 by introducing dot revisions," he said. Part of the reason for that was because customers needed to be sure that different issues including Year 2000 compliance, and the introduction of the Euro, were secure, he said. ®

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