Intel to ship carrier-grade telco servers

In an effort to tap the emerging market for shock- and fire-resistant telecommunication servers, Intel Corp. on Thursday announced its first fleet of carrier-grade telco servers.

The "un-branded, bare-bones systems" will begin to ship in the outer chassis of telco server vendors like Lucent Technologies Inc. and Siemens AG in the fourth quarter of 2001, said Abhi Talwalker, the vice president and general manager of Intel's enterprise platforms and services division.

Rugged, carrier-grade servers are increasingly in demand by telco and wireless networks, particularly those built from the ground up, said Talwalker.

Intel's telco servers mark a rare occasion when the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker has shipped its processors already installed in server boxes, Talwalker said.

Such pre-assembly is necessary to meet level 3 certification requirements for carrier-grade servers set down by Bell Research Company's Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) standard and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

"The requirements of assembly are pretty exhaustive at the carrier-grade level. The nature of the compliance requirements is a tight coupling between the motherboard and the chassis itself," said Talwalker.

Compliance to ETSI/NEBS standards means the Intel telco servers are suited to withstand extreme environmental conditions such as earthquakes, fires, high temperatures and humidity, and high altitudes.

Intel will initially offer only two telco server models, a 1U (1.75-inch), 2-way Pentium III system, and a similarly configured 2U model that delivers improved data throughput. Speeds of the Pentium chips were not provided. Operating systems will be loaded by server vendors, which have the choice of either Windows 2000 or Linux, said Talwalker.

Intel telco servers based on the company's server-class Xeon chips and 64-bit Itanium chips are set to arrive in early 2002, according to Talwalker.

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