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IBM Microelectronics turns to Linux to promote PowerPC

'Thin' server strategy mirrors Motorola's -- albeit without Moto's Intel support

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If Motorola isn't going to offer PowerPC-based Linux 'thin' servers -- at least not for the time being -- then IBM, its partner in the development of PowerPC, sure as heck will. On Monday, Motorola Computer Group (MCG) used LinuxWorld to debut its SLX range of Linux-based 'thin' servers -- machines designed to provide small LANs with Internet access. However, MCG's boxes are based on Intel CPUs running Caldera's OpenLinux. So this week, IBM Microelectronics will demo a series of PowerPC-based Linux thin servers, including a reference design based on a copper-interconnected 450MHz PowerPC 750. Actually, the fact it's IBM's Microelectronics division doing the demo says it all: the company's presence at LinuxWorld is more about selling more processors than selling Linux boxes. IBM's server division seems more interested in promoting Linux on its Intel-based Netfinity machines, rather than on its PowerPC-based RS/6000 line, though it has been working to help PowerPC Linux distributor Yellow Dog to port its Champion Server bundle to the RS/6000. Microelectronics, on the other hand, said it had been working with LinuxPPC, inc. on the reference designs' OS, but that it would "eventually" be bringing Yellow Dog on board too. The company also said it would be tackling the embedded server market with a reference design based on Linux and its PowerPC 405 embedded CPU. That mirrors Motorola's own embedded server initiative using x86 processors running either OpenLinux or Lineo's Embeddix embedded version of the open source OS. ®

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