IBM's first SOI server hits the streets

AS/400 breaks 150,000 tpm barrier

IBM's first silicon-on-insulator (SOI) AS/400 is the latest contender in the somewhat tacky 'mine's bigger than yours' server wars.

The AS/400e Model 840 is claimed to outperform Compaq, HP and Sun in four benchmark tests, TPC-C, NotesBench, SPECjbb2000 and VolanoMark, with Big Blue saying the 24-way 840 is 3.6 times faster than earlier AS/400 servers.

IBM boasts that the 840 set a new record of 152,346.25 transactions per minute in the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-C benchmark. The company does not explain what 0.25 of a transaction represents.

The servers use the first production chips made using SOI transistors and copper interconnects. IBM claims SOI can increase performance by up to 30 per cent beyond the use of copper by protecting the transistors on a chip with a blanket of insulation and reducing electrical leakage that wastes power.

IBM plans to introduce SOI chip technology to the RS/6000 range later in the year. ®

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