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Server specs: AMD gets others aboard the Torrenza initiative

Mark Fontecchio
AMD seeks chip socket compatibility

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) has announced major interested parties for an initiative to develop compatibility among processor sockets, including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Others who said they will evaluate AMD's Torrenza Innovation Socket include Cray and Fujitsu Siemens Computers. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company said its initiative will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to adopt an x86 environment -- including the motherboard designs, chipsets and packaging that comes with it -- onto its own coprocessors that can perform certain functions better than an x86 system.

Through the initiative, AMD has opened up the possibility of connecting non-AMD coprocessors alongside AMD chips as accelerators. IBM, for example, said it is creating a supercomputer with Cell processors hooked up to Opteron processors through AMD's HyperTransport technology links.

With Torrenza, AMD has basically opened its Opteron platform to the open source community. The move by AMD is in contrast to its rival and largest chipmaker, Intel Corp., which has not yet developed an open standard for its processors. The challenge that remains will be the development of software that knows which processors are required for which workloads.

Xiotech releases new storage management systems

Data storage management company Xiotech Corp. has developed continuous data protection (CDP) on its TimeScale

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line of data protection systems.

With TimeScale 200 and TimeScale 300, the Eden Prairie, Minn., company said data centers can now recover data quickly and more dependably. The new systems are available for Windows environments and are aimed at midsized businesses looking for CDP on applications, such as SQL Server and Exchange.

The new TimeScale systems are available now.

APC layoffs announced

American Power Conversion Corp. (APC) has announced further layoffs that, combined with announced cuts in June, will reduce the company's workforce by 7%.

The West Kingston, R.I.-based power supply company suffered a drop in its stock amid rising earnings but even faster rising costs. Earlier this month, APC announced the retirement of Rodger Dowdell as president and CEO. Vice president Rob Johnson took over as interim president and CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement.

The announcements of further job cuts came late last week, as Johnson said the company had been seeing poor financial performance and needed to stay competitive in the market to survive. The total number of jobs cut is expected to be around 580, which it said will save the company $37 million before taxes by the end of 2007.

The cuts are expected to be completed in the first fiscal quarter of next year. In addition, APC announced that it would be paying Dowdell $1.5 million in severance payments.

NetXen gets network controllers into HP ProLiant servers

NetXen Inc. announced that its network controllers have been integrated into HP's ProLiant 10 Gigabit Ethernet network adapters.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company said the news marks a point in the widespread transition to 10 Gbit from high-end servers to x86 lower end systems.

Vik Karvat, marketing director for the company, said in an interview last week that NetXen plans to make more announcements involving other major OEMs in the next fiscal quarter or two. HP said in a statement that it chose NetXen because of the technology's flexible I/O architecture.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer


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