What's new from ... AMD, Intel, SuperMicro, Kingston

What's new from ... AMD, Intel, SuperMicro, Kingston


Looking to crack the enterprise market, semiconductor manufacturer AMD has brought out its new Athlon MP (multiprocessing) 1GHz and 1.2GHz chipset. The move signals the first time AMD has offered CPUs to the white-box server market.

Designed to power one- and two-way servers or workstations, the Athlon MP has dual, independent point-to-point buses for high-speed communications between processors and a bolstered cache management system.

AMD is touting the Athlon MP processor to be the fastest x87 floating point engine in its class.

The processor is backed by a strong road-map according to the vendor. With a single, stable platform Socket-A design, AMD claims the Athlon MP protects an enterprises' management costs by keeping infrastructure churn at a minimum while providing an easy upgrade path. The processor is aimed at a range of commercial computing requirements from appliance and general servers to high-end workstations.

The processor is based on AMD's 760 MP two-way multiprocessor core logic chipset. The chipset's performance is attributed to its rejigged 266MHz system bus, support for DDR memory technology and an AGP-4x graphics interface.

The processor costs $US265 for the 1.2GHZ model and $US215 for the 1GHz model.

In Australia, AMD has signed manufacturing agreements with ASI Solutions, Optima Computer Technology and Xenon.

AMD: (02) 9959 1937,


After three years of production delays, Intel began shipping its latest server processor, Itanium, this month. Around 25 computer manufacturers will offer around 35 different models by the end of the year.

The processor is aimed squarely at running high-end applications and is the first in a suite of 64-bit products from Intel.

This represents the first major chip redesign for Intel since the 386 processor. Unlike the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) design of most high-end 64-bit processors, Itanium's unique Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) architecture enables the chip to work 20 operations simultaneously. Its 64-bit addressability is double that of Intel's 32-bit processor family.

The CPU vendor has high growth areas

in mind for the processor, such as data

communications, storage, analysis and


Four operating systems support Itanium-based systems, including Microsoft Windows platform (64-bit edition for workstations and 64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition 2002 for servers), Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX 11i v1.5, IBM's AIX-5L and Linux.

Itanium processors will feature 2MB/4 MB of cache and 800MHz/733 MHz frequency speeds at prices ranging from $US1177 to $4227.

The first in a line of high-end chips, Itanium challenges potential users either to adopt early port applications or wait for broader hardware and software availability expected with follow-up chip McKinley next year.

Intel: (02) 9937 5800,


Manufacturing motherboards since 1993, US-based SuperMicro offers high-end products for the Internet and e-business world.

Distributed in Australia by BCN Technology, SuperMicro has launched its latest quad-processor motherboard featuring Intel Pentium III/II Xeon 900-400MHz processors in one, two or four-way configurations.

The Super S2QR6 contains up to 16GB of SDRAM (synchronous random access memory) and an Adaptec AIC-7899 controller for dual channel Ultra160 SCSI ports.

Heralding a front-side bus speed of 100MHz, the Super S2QR6 contains two 64-bit, 66MHz PCI slots, four 64/32-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots and two 32-bit, 33 MHz PCI slots.

Firing away on four processors the motherboard includes chassis, CPU overheat alarm and auto-switching voltage regulator modules for different CPU core voltages.

The board measures 455mm x 330mm.

Pricing and availability through BCN Technology:

BCN Technology (distributor): (02) 9648 0888,


CPU vendors such as Intel and AMD are rapidly moving to 2GHz speeds. Yet the most common memory today is 133MHz Synchronous DRAM (dynamic random access memory). As the gap widens between processors and memory, Kingston has released a slew of new products that address the performance bottleneck between processors and memory.

Kingston manufactures a range of products under the brand ValueRAM specifically for system integrators (SIs) building their own white-box or non-branded computer systems. According to the vendor, these companies want quality and an aggressively priced standard memory, based upon specification of a standard motherboard, not a branded system.

The vendor positions itself as technology-neutral, supporting both DDR (double data rate) and Rambus technologies.

Kingston has committed to Intel to deliver one million Rambus modules a month. This will facilitate the volume ramp-up of Rambus. As the volumes increase, prices will continue to decrease to a pricepoint similar to that of SDRAM.

Simms (distributor): (02) 9026 3000,

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