HP launches Compaq server, desktop products

HP launches Compaq server, desktop products

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced several new products developed by the former Compaq, whose acquisition by HP was finalised on May 7.

New versions of the AlphaServer family were announced, including the AlphaServer DS20L server and the AlphaServer SC20 supercomputer. Two new Evo desktops for business customers were also released, the Evo D510 Desktop, and the Evo D310 Desktop, which all feature Intel's new 845G chipset. Additionally, HP released two new versions of the Evo Notebook N800, one for corporate users and one for small businesses and consumers.

The AlphaServer family has now been updated under its third owner. Compaq acquired the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) technology that powers the DS20L and SC20 when it bought Digital Equipment Corp in 1998.

RISC microprocessors are designed for intensive computing applications, such as detailed graphics or research and development. Each processor is limited in the number of instructions it is required to undertake, allowing it to perform those limited tasks much faster than ordinary microprocessors.

The DS20L and SC20 are targeted toward users in the telecommunications business, and users engaged in "high-performance technical computing (HPTC)", said Rich Marcello, vice president and general manager of the Alpha systems division. HPTC users include life sciences companies, which would use the machines for intense computational processes, he said.

Each DS20L server comes with two 64-bit Alpha processors, and features up to 2GB of memory. A system with 512MB of memory and 18.2GB of disk storage has an estimated price of $US18,000, HP said in a release. The DS20L is 1U (4.44 centimetres) high, 48.26 centimetres wide and 50.8 centimetres deep, allowing space-conscious businesses to place up to 40 DS20L servers in a 1.95 metre high rack-mounted configuration, the company said.

"We're packing a lot of power into a 1U module, which will appeal to companies with limited area," said Marcello.

The SC20 is made by combining DS20L units, which can scale to a maximum of 128 DS20L servers, or a total of 256 Alpha processors. It will come with a base system of eight Alpha processors and 4GB of memory, and is estimated to cost $US290,000 when it ships in August, HP said.

Both systems run HP's Tru64 Unix, and the DS20L is also available with the Linux operating system. The new systems will not run on OpenVMS, as they are targeted at the telecom and HPTC markets, where HP doesn't have enough VMS customers for a VMS version to make sense, Marcello said.

Compaq announced in June 2001 that it would be transferring its 64-bit servers to Intel's Itanium microprocessors by 2004, before HP signalled its intention to buy Compaq. HP will honour the Compaq roadmap for the Alpha microprocessor, and Alpha users can expect improvements and support for the rest of the decade, he said.

The new Evo models utilise the Intel Extreme Graphics technology, which enables users to experience graphics performance comparable to that of a common 32MB graphics card, without having to purchase the card, HP said. The Evo D510 models will feature USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 technology, which allows for faster data-exchange rates between desktops and other hardware, such as digital cameras and portable music players. Available in early June, the Evo D510 will cost around $US769 with an Intel Celeron processor, or around $US899 with an Intel Pentium 4 processor.

The Evo D310, available immediately, carries the lowest price of any of the new PCs, priced at $US749 with a 1.7GHz Intel Celeron processor, 128MB of DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM) a 20GB hard drive, and Intel's 845G chipset with Intel Extreme Graphics. It is designed for business users who only need basic functionality in a PC, HP said.

Corporate notebook users will also have a new machine to choose from within HP's N800 series, the N800-C, which will feature a three-year warranty and increased support, HP said. The N800-B, for small business users and consumers, comes with a one-year warranty. Base specifications for the two machines, priced at $US1,709, include a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium 4-M processor, 256MB of memory, a 20GB hard drive, and ATI Technologies' 32MB Radeon graphics card. Wireless users can purchase the Multiport module, available in a Bluetooth version for $US129 and an 802.11b version for $US189.

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