Intel Unveils New I/O Processor Board

TAIPEI (06/05/2000) - Intel Corp. today unveiled, at the Computex trade show, an I/O processor board designed to bring RAID (redundant arrays of inexpensive disks) storage technology to smaller businesses that buy relatively low-cost servers.

The company showed off the Integrated RAID BNU31 Controller, the latest addition to its line of I/O building blocks introduced earlier this year, which lets system and component manufacturers turn to Intel for as much of their I/O systems as they like, from chip sets to full processor boards with RAID software.

RAID technology links a set of disk drives so they can be used as one, with "failover" capability.

The BNU31 is the first processor board that includes a 64-bit, 33-MHz PCI interface with Ultra-160 SCSI support for high performance, according to Michael Wall, director of Intel's server/storage business unit. It uses Intel's i960 RN I/O processor.

Intel in a few weeks will introduce an entire new line of I/O processors, Wall said, to be followed in about two months by a successor to the current i960.

Wall declined to give further details.

OEMs using the BNU31 board can build server RAID systems priced at US$500 to $600, Wall said, expanding the market for RAID technology.

"This time next year, no one will be implementing a server anywhere without including RAID," Wall predicted.

Small businesses relying on their servers for critical operations such as e-commerce transactions will now be able to take advantage of the performance and reliability of RAID, Wall said.

The BNU31 showcase at Intel's showroom at Computex included the Asus Barebone server line, a series of servers by Asustek Computer Inc., in Taipei, that starts with systems for departments and small businesses.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or at http://www.intel.com/.

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