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HP sharpens low-power server Blades

Chipzilla flavoured

HP will roll out kit based on the server buzzword du jour, "blade" technology, later this year.

We'll have to wait for Q4 for speeds, feeds and density forecasts, but it doesn't look likely that HP will be adopting Transmeta's Crusoe processors.

Brian Cox, HP's product line manager for high density servers told us today:-

"What people want is peak performance. The processors you see in high density servers from some of these new start ups are clocked down, and not as robust as the fastest RISC or Pentium processors out there," he said.

Who could he mean? RLX Technologies for one, which has announced a 336-way Crusoe server that offers eight times the density of existing 1U racks, and signed IBM as a reseller. And just around the corner from Transmeta in Los Gatos, Ca. Fibercycle has said it too will build superdense Crusoe servers. Cox said HP had been approached by high-density start-ups - although he wouldn't name names.

Given his skeptical take on low power chips, was he looking at Crusoe? "Maybe," he said. That didn't sound too definite, to us, we asked. "That's definitely maybe," he said.

Stepping razor

Blades are really a variation of the rack phenomenon, only the boards - which are fully fledged PCs in their own right - share power supplies. So they can be stacked upright in a chassis, and there's fewer cables to worry about.

"Once you get narrower than 1.75" [the width of a 1U rack], there's nothing to hang it on," said Cox.

Cox said that HP's superdense servers would be based around Compact PCI interconnects, unlike the proprietary chassis used by RLX.

"IBM's going to have a hard sell with these to its conservative customer base," he predicted. ®

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