Fujitsu announces new servers with 90-nanometer chips

Fujitsu became the latest chip maker to introduce a 90-nanometer product with the launch of a faster version of its Sparc64 V processor for enterprise servers, the company announced Tuesday.

The new processor runs at 1.89GHz, an increase from the 1.35GHz clock speed of the 130-nanometer chip. Fujitsu also added 1M-byte of Level 2 cache to the new processor to bring the total amount to 3M bytes.

Every few years, chip makers engineer process technology "shrinks," in which manufacturing and design is changed to accommodate smaller transistors. This allows them to place more transistors on an individual chip.They can use these extra transistors in a number of different ways to improve performance, such as adding instructions, increasing the chip's clock speed, adding new cache or combining those techniques.

Fujitsu plans to use the new processor in five new PrimePower servers. The PrimePower 650 is an eight-processor server, while the PrimePower 850 and 900 servers can use up to 16 1.89GHz processors. The PrimePower 1500 can be configured with up to 32 1.89GHz processors, and the most powerful new server, the PrimePower 2500, features up to 128 processors. The processors used in the 2500 operate at 1.82GHz.

Sun Microsystems also will be able to sell the new PrimePower servers following an agreement between the two companies earlier this year. Sun and Fujitsu plan to sell each other's Sun Fire and PrimePower products as well as collaborate on a new line of servers currently known as APL (Advanced Product Line). The APL servers will incorporate Fujitsu's next-generation Sparc64 VI processor.

The details of Sun and Fujitsu's agreement have yet to be publically announced, but it's likely the companies will gradually identify areas for collaboration in which their products complement each other, rather than compete with each other, said Gordon Haff, principal analyst with Illuminata.

Pricing information for the new servers was not available, and will likely vary based on the customer. The new servers are available around the world from Fujitsu subsidiaries.

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