Held back only by Intel's delay in shipping a key chip set, an eager group of major system vendors here at the CeBIT exhibition showed off forthcoming servers featuring up to eight Intel processors.
Intel is currently putting the final touches to the long-awaited Profusion chip set, which has been delayed by several months. The first eight-way servers built around the chip set are now scheduled to hit the market by mid-year, said Pat Gelsinger, Intel's vice president and general manager of the company's desktop products group.
System vendors targeting the enterprise are itching to ship such servers. Compaq was one of five vendors showing prototype systems here, and the company will be one of the first vendors to launch an eight-way server powered by the new Pentium III Xeon processor, said Tim Golden, director of enterprise server marketing at Compaq's enterprise server group in Houston. "We want to be on stage with Intel launching these things," said Golden.
Compaq expects to ship its first eight-way Intel server by the end of the second quarter, according to Kimmo Alkio, Compaq's director of marketing and strategy, enterprise computing group Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Currently, Compaq holds 57 per cent of the four-way Intel server market worldwide, and the company is banking on keeping the majority market share of eight-way systems once they come out, Alkio said.
France's Groupe Bull SA, IBM, NEC of Japan and Germany's Siemens AG were the other four vendors to display their forthcoming eight-way Intel server offerings at their booths here.
"We will definitely support the eight-way chipset," said Cary Ziter, an IBM spokesman. IBM plans to launch a NetFinity server based on the Profusion architecture by the end of 1999, he said. "We are waiting on Intel."