Intel ups speed on Pentium III server chips

Intel Corp. increased the speed on the server version of its Pentium III chip from 1.26GHz to 1.4GHz Tuesday and released several pieces of complementary hardware intended to help users take advantage of the chip's smaller size and lower power consumption.

The chip, released last year, was built using a 0.13-micron manufacturing process to make this chip smaller and less power-hungry than chips built using the older 0.18 micron process. Hardware makers such as Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. should release servers based on the chip in the next few weeks, according an Intel spokesman.

The processor is typically used in servers that are packed tightly in a rack and handle such tasks as e-mail, caching, and serving up Web pages.

The Pentium III at 1.4GHz features 512K bytes of L2 cache and costs US$315 in 1,000-unit quantities.

Intel also introduced the Server Board SDS2, Server Board SAI2 and Server Chassis SC5100 -- all of which are compatible with the Pentium III server chip.

The Server Board SDS2 supports up to two Pentium IIIs and includes six PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots, dual Ethernet controllers and dual-channel Ultra160 SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) storage. The Server Board SAI2 also includes support for two Pentium IIIs and comes with a single Ethernet controller and six PCI slots.

A server board is similar to the motherboard users would find in a PC and helps connect the chipset with other components in the system.

The Server Chassis SC5100 supports two server boards with the Pentium III processors in either rack or pedestal configurations. In addition, users will find support for redundant power supplies and for either five IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) hard drives or ten Ultra160 SCSI hard drives.

None of the new hardware components are shipping in volume at this time, according to information on Intel's Web site.

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