14th > August > 1999 Archive

The Register breaking news

Intel confirms months-long mobo shortage

Chipzilla has alerted its distributor and dealer channel to a shortage of ZX and BX chipsets. In an email sent to its channel, the chip giant said: "Due to a worldwide chipset shortage on 440BX and 440ZX AGP sets, some Intel Branded Desktop Boards may have limited availability during the next few months. "All 440BX and 440ZX based desktop boards are in extremely strong demand. Some current orders and all new orders received from Intel authorized distributors may have longer than expected lead times." The mobos affected are the ® SE440BX-2, the SR440BX, BI440ZX, and the RC440BX, Intel confirmed. The shortage is obviously pretty serious, because Intel says the problem is affecting its entire customer base. A chance here, maybe, for its competitors to mop up business. ® See also Component shortages threaten mobo manufacture MP3 players mop up Flash supplies
Mike Magee, 14 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news

Five more Intel parts to join PIII/450 in chip gulag

As reported here earlier, the Pentium III/450 is being phased out and stocks are already drying up. That fact is now confirmed by Intel, in one of its regular missives to its distributors and dealers. But the Pentium III/450 will not feel lonely when it reaches the wastes of the virtual Intel Siberia. Cold, perhaps, but not lonely. Five other parts will join it in the lonely trek across the steppes, although the Intel document sent to its channel says that the parts have "limited availability". The other parts patiently queuing to get off the platform and onto the train are the 550 MHz Xeon (BX805KY550512), the 500 MHz Xeon (BX805KY500512) and the following unfortunate boxed members of the Pentium II family: the400 MHz SECC2; the 400 MHz SECC; and the 350MHz chip. This means Intel will have products to replace these parts in the very near future. Although individuals will still be able to buy boxed processors of the types above for some months, and possibly even years, the announcement from Intel means that someone is shortly about to throw the off switch at the marchitecture fab to prevent many more being produced. ® Intel to announce fresh Pentium III price cuts in two weeks' time Intel to send Pentium III/450 to gulag Intel attempts to grab PC-133 spex 133MHz FSB plot to thicken sooner than thought
Mike Magee, 14 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news

Compaq to go enterprise crazy next Tuesday

As a corollary to the re-organisation of its enterprise server division next week, reported here earlier, Compaq will also introduce a raft of products and initiatives Tuesday next. Senior Compaq VP Enrico Pesatori will start by announcing the re-org, and is likely to appoint Bill Heil, a vice president of the company, to head up the new, unified strategy intended to weld Digital, Tandem and Q products and sales teams closer together. Compaq would like to have introduced an eight way server based on Intel's Profusion technology next Tuesday, but it's going to have to wait until the 23rd, when Intel presses the "go" button on its long awaited SMP chipset. Other major vendors, including IBM and Dell, are likely to roll out similar products to coincide with the Intel Developer Forum at the end of the month. Further, sources very close to Q's plans, say that it will announce improvements (sorry enhancements) to its Nonstop Integrity XC cluster system with support for SCO's UnixWare 7 Release 7.1 and its own improved software. When you look at the material on Compaq's Web site, it makes you scratch your head, but essentially its Integrity stuff lets you link x.86-based and Unix boxes, of whatever variety, be they Alphas or whatever, together. That's how Compaq is likely to sell it, although major computer companies would rather attempt to befuddle us with jargon. Integrity XC is likely to scale up to 12 nodes and 48 PIII or PIII/Xeon chips, with price reductions and the ability to support fibre channel storage systems with up to 864Gb of clusterable storage. Its management software is likely to integrate with software from CA, HP, and IBM Tivoli. Q will sell Integrity XC on the basis that it believes it is the only company which can present multiple nodes on a network running flavours of Unix, as if it was a single SMP machine. The world+dog has waited for Intel's Profusion chipset to arrive, in a start-stop fashion, for around four years. Profusion technology was developed by a company called Corollary, which Intel took over as part of its symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) strategy. Pesatori, however, is unlikely to announce any job scaleability Tuesday. That will be a job for Mike Capellas, the new CEO who has taken over Eckhard Pfeiffer's mantle. Meanwhile folks whose hearts still sing when they hear the words Vax and Alpha have opened up a new Web site called Tru64, and are promosing a Linux64.org site too. ® Compaq to announce re-org Tuesday next
Mike Magee, 14 Aug 1999
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Iridium to enter Chapter 11

Ailing satellite-based mobile phone company Iridium yesterday said it intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move followed the action of Iridium bondholders to force the company into Chapter 11 in the run-up to Monday's deadline on the payment of $90 million in interest on bonds worth $1.45 billion. Clearly, the bondholders believe isn't going to pay that $90 million -- not least because earlier this week it defaulted on two loans of $800 million and $750 million, respectively. Chapter 11 allows a company to continue operating while it works on a plan to pay back its debts. Iridium CEO John Richardson described Chapter 11 as "the most efficient way to conclude Iridium's restructuring negotiations". Certainly the prospect of bankruptcy should concentrate the minds of Iridium's investors since it finally signals the fact that, without their support for Richardson's proposed restructure, the company will collapse. That said, that's just what Motorola has been saying for months, and it doesn't appear to have done much good to date. ®
Tony Smith, 14 Aug 1999
The Register breaking news

Red Hat stock shoots past Microsoft's

Linux distributor Red Hat yesterday saw its stock price end the day's trading higher than that of the open source community's arch-enemy, Microsoft. Red Hat's shares ended the day at $85.25 each (up from $75.63, the previous day's closing price) -- Microsoft's last traded price was $84.69. Red Hat shares hit a peak of $90.69 during the third day of trading in the newly IPO'd company's stock. Of course, while the day's trading pushed Red Hat's market capitalisation up to $5.69 billion, the company still has some way to go to match Microsoft's $432.23 billion. Bill Gates doesn't have to worry about his wealth just yet. Microsoft's 52-week high is $100.75, but that seems a target Red Hat is more likely to reach. ® See also Red Hat stock heads skyward on second day's trading Wall Street votes for Linux in Red Hat IPO
Tony Smith, 14 Aug 1999