Intel Corp. will acquire Corollary Corp., which develops multiprocessor technology, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. The move could effectively create a standard for Intel-based multiprocessor server architecture.
PC servers that use more than one processor are becoming more popular among corporations, which use the machines to handle applications that previously might have run on mainframes, among other things. Until recently, Intel's architecture had only allowed up to four processors to be used at a time. Several companies, including Corollary, had been working on ways to expand that number to eight, but Intel had so far not said which method it preferred.
The buyout makes Intel's preferences clear. Corollary's Profusion technology, introduced last August, combines four processors on each of two PCI buses, with a third PCI bus to handle traffic from input/output devices. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. had signed on to use Corollary's technology, but the company faced competition from NCR Corp. and Axil Computer Inc., a subsidiary of Hyundai Electronics America, both of which had announced their own eight-way technology.
Now the choice for server manufacturers may be clearer.
"It's not going to rule out [the other processes] but will make it extremely easier for other Intel system providers to make the choice," said Jerry Sheridan, an analyst at Dataquest Inc., in San Jose, Calif. "Intel had been quiet about its direction for the future. This is a key announcement for the advancement of Intel architecture into the enterprise level of computing."
Under the terms of the deal, Corollary, based in Irvine, Calif., will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel and will retain its name and president, George White. Corollary will focus on designing and developing advanced architectures and products to support future generations of Intel processors.