PowerPC blades by year-end – IBM

Who needs mobile chips?

SGI logo hardware close-up

Tom Bradicich, CTO of IBM's xSeries line, confirmed that Big Blue will ship a Power-based blade by the end of the year.

IBM will also launch a four-way x86 blade, also by the end of the year. IBM pipped Sun to the blade business, delivering its first boxes in December.

The current HS20 blade uses up to two 2GHz and 2.2GHz Xeons, starting at $1879. IBM eschewed using mobile or embedded low-power processors to achieve high densities. "Density is only one of the reasons for buying a blade," Bradicich told us.

"Customers don't want last year's PIII."

The HS20 supports up to 8GB of memory and Fiber Channel I/O, and duplicate Gigabit Ethernet adapters.

Competitors deem IBM's current POWER4 processor too large to fit on a blade, but Bradicich says IBM has the packaging skills to produce some surprises. The RISC-blade is expected to use the POWER4-derived 970 part for workstations and low-end servers. IBM announced that chip at Microprocessor Forum last year (see IBM confirms Altivecked POWER4-lite). ®

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