IBM Corp is getting ready to take the wraps off the next release of its AIX 5L operating system for its pSeries servers. Sources familiar with IBM's plans say that the company is expected to make the announcement on October 8,Timothy Prickett Morgan writes
This is just about when IBM was expected to make the AIX 5.2 announcement, which brings dynamic logical partitioning to the Power4-based Regatta family of servers that IBM has been selling for about a year. While IBM is expected to announce a number of new I/O devices, to tweak the pSeries 630 entry server some, and to rejigger pricing on its pSeries 660 S-Star servers, IBM is not expected to announce enhanced Power4-II processors for its pSeries line or any other rumored pSeries midrange machines that have been anticipated for more than a year.
Apparently, the Power4-IIs and other pSeries machines are due any week now, but IBM may be holding the announcement of the machines to roughly coincide with IBM Analyst Day, when CEO Sam Palmisano will go to Wall Street to talk up Big Blue on November 13. That is also the same week that the Supercomputing 2002 trade show gets underway in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Regatta-H servers using the original 1.1GHz and 1.3GHz GP processors, short for Gigahertz Processor and also known by the code-name Spinnaker, were announced in October 2001 in 16-way and 32-way configurations. In April 2002, IBM announced the pSeries 670 servers, which also use the Power4 processors and which were sometimes called the Regatta-M servers (M meaning medium or midrange). Some pSeries 670 models use dual core Power4 processors like the pSeries 690, but others use single core Power4 processors (where half of the chip is either broken or disabled intentionally.)
The pSeries 670 offers 4-way, 8-way, and 16-way symmetric multiprocessing with up to 128GB of main memory. These machines were intended for the October 2002 announcement schedule, but were moved up to take on Sun's 36-way StarKitty Sun Fire 12000 UltraSparc-III servers. At the end of June, IBM unveiled the Regatta-LE pSeries 630 servers. The pSeries 630s, which come in one-way, two-way, and four-way configurations, are based on the Power4 processors.
It was clear in June that IBM moved up the pSeries 630 announcement, which was also expected sometime in September or October, to try to steal some thunder from the Cherrystone Sun Fire V480 four-way servers announced by Sun Microsystems Inc a week earlier in June. The pSeries 650, a rumored four-way and eight-way machine in a number of different packaging options, is expected to debut alongside IBM's Power4-II processors, which are expected in the 1.5GHz to 1.6GHz range, but which could see clock speeds encroach on 1.8GHz according to some rumors.