Intel announced on Thursday that it will for the first time begin offering server products for the telecommunications industry, including a server based on the 64-bit Itanium chip. The decision is as part of a move into the market for high-end servers, which are far more lucrative than the PC, workstation and lower-end servers where Intel currently has a strong presence.
The Intel servers will compete with industry-standard RISC (reduced instruction set computing) products, but Intel will be able to offer the chips at a lower price because of the massive economies of scale built into its manufacturing complex.
The servers are of two types, lower-cost, high-density form factors based on the Pentium III and high-end systems based on the Xeon and Itanium processor families. Xeon is based on the same core as the 32-bit Pentium chips while Itanium, which will make its product debut in workstations this summer, is a completely different, 64-bit architecture competing with 64-bit RISC chips.
The new telecommunications servers will begin to appear in Q4 of this year.
"On top of the industry's trademark reliability, Intel-based servers will offer telecomunications customers choice, scalability and top performance, at affordable prices versus RISC-based vendors," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group, in a statement.
Intel says it will ship two Pentium III-based servers, a dual processor system in the 1U (or 1.75 inch) form factor, and another in the 2U form factor. They will be marketed to original equipment manufacturers and telecommunications equipment manufacturers.
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