HP unveils made-in-Singapore Itanium servers

Hewlett-Packard leverages its R&D strength and manufacturing experience here to launch five Itanium-based Integrity servers.

HP Integrity Server line
Manufacturing of HP Integrity servers in Singapore

SINGAPORE--Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled five new servers based on Intel's Itanium processor on Friday, with four of these researched and designed in Singapore.

In a press briefing here Friday, Naninder Kapoor, vice president and general manager for enterprise group in Southeast Asia, said all five servers introduced today are manufactured in Singapore for the wider Asia-Pacific and worldwide market. Four of the five Itanium servers were also researched and designed by the staff here, he added.

These four server products belonged to the entry-level Integrity brand, with the server codenamed rx2800i4, and the three mid-level Integrity server blades which are also known as BL860ci4, BL870ci4, and BL890ci4. The last server, Integrity Superdome 2, is manufactured here, but was not designed locally, Kapoor pointed out.

He did note the five products are HP's newly-refreshed Integrity servers built using the Intel's Itanium 9500 processor series --which were just announced by the chipmaker on Friday.

HP recently won a long-running legal tussle with Oracle over the latter's decision to discontinue software support for Itanium-based computers. In September, Oracle backtracked on its stance after a U.S. judge ruled it has a contract to continue porting its software to Itanium computers for as long as HP sells these computers.

Strong government support for R&D
This is not the first time Singapore has been involved in server manufacturing for HP, with Kapoor pointing out that the IT vendor has been manufacturing servers in Singapore since the mid-1990s, and on the HP Superdome line of products since 2004.

He added the Singapore Integrity R&D team launched its first product--the rx2660--on January 2007 and it was the first entry-level server powered by the Intel 64-bit Itanium processor.

The executive also stressed the assembling of these mission-critical servers is not as simple as "using a screwdriver". Rather, this requires high-end engineering skills which is why HP chose Singapore as one of its R&D base and manufacturing facility for its Integrity line of servers, he stated.

Other reasons include the government's role in driving ICT with the iN2015 initiative, and the country's proximity to regional components suppliers and the company's R&D lab in India. Singapore's position as a logistics hub which allows for quick transportation of the assembled servers is another plus, he noted.

Kapoor is also confident the Singapore manufacturing team will be able to satisfy the demand for Integrity servers, given the eight years of experience it has in manufacturing the high-end servers.

Besides R&D for servers, HP has also established other research centers here. In February 2010, HP opened a research lab focusing on building cloud software platforms . The IT vendor also opened an imaging and printing design center in November 2010.


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