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Nvidia revamps Opteron server, workstation chipsets

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Nvidia today launched the nForce Pro 3000 chipset family for servers and workstations based on AMD's recently announced DDR 2 SDRAM-supporting dual-core Opteron processors. The chipsets are aimed at machines containing one to eight or more CPUs.

The line-up comprises the 3050, 3400 and 3600 MCP chips. All three chipsets support SLI - they're pitched at servers and workstations used by content creation, and science and engineering professionals. The 3400 is aimed at one-way systems, and has 28 PCI Express lanes for mobo makers to play with. It can support six 3Gbps SATA drives and two parallel ATA peripherals in RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 configurations. The chipset has an on-board Gigabit Ethernet controller with support for two MACs and TCP/IP acceleration. It can operate up to ten USB 2.0 ports, too.

The 3600 adds reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features to the 3400's specifications, such as advanced error reporting technology, enclosure management and other enterprise-friendly functionality.

The 3050 is essentially an add-on I/O processor for the 3600, it doubles the available PCI Express lanes to 56, and likewise increases the number of drives supported to 12 SATA and four PATA. Together the two chips support four Gigabit Ethernet MACs, but boards will still handle only ten USB 2.0 ports.

Nvidia didn't announce specific partners, but it did say the chipsets were already shipping to its enterprise customers, naming HP, IBM, Sun and Fujitsu-Siemens among those it's worked with in the past. ®

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