Intel has recruited 64 server design engineers from NCR, virtually cornering the market in such specialised workers. The hirings should spell good news for users, as the engineers will work on Intel's project to make 8-way server technology a volume product. Intel's announcement follows the acquisition of chipset specialist Corollary in September 1997, also geared to establishing symmetric multi-processor technology (SMP) as commodity hardware. Today, systems which use eight-way processors are designed expensively from scratch, rather than using off-the-shelf server building blocks. Intel said the NCR engineers will form the Intel Colombia Design Centre and will work on developing high-end server building blocks based on Pentium II and forthcoming Merced technology. John Miner, vice president and general manager at Intel's Enterprise Server Group said: "This agreement with NCR is a great way for us to accelerate our delivery of leading-edge products to our customers." The 64 engineers who previously worked in the NCR Computer Group were responsible for the company's WorldMark SMP servers and have expertise in designing such systems. Russell Holt, vice president and general manager at NCR in Colombia told PC Week: "These engineers specialised in hardware, module design, board layout and ASICs for our NCR servers." Commenting on Intel's move, Joe D'Elia, senior analyst at Dataquest, pointed out that SMP servers are extremely complex pieces of hardware. "Putting these things together requires a vast amount of skill." What Intel has achieved through hiring the engineers, D'Elia added, is a very significant resource. "Teams of engineers with SMP design skills do not grow on trees," he said. Looking into Intel's overall plan for making the SMP server a commodity, D'Elia said he would not be surprised if Intel were to develop four and eight-way motherboards. Corollary provides Intel with the SMP chipset for that project. Fujitsu is one of the SMP server companies which uses its own, proprietary designs."I think a commodity 8-way product is inevitable," commented Paul Stowe, server product manager at Fujitsu. "The question is one of timing. When it does arrive we will be there with a commodity solution." Stowe added that Fujitsu is currently considering the options and has not yet made a decision.
Insecticides based on sulfoxaflor might be as bad for bees as neonicotinoids
Intel teases forthcoming new graphics card accompanied by the text "We will set our graphics free"
Think your password manager is completely secure? Think again...
ARM plans 7nm 'Deimos' for 2019 and 5nm and 7nm 'Hercules' for 2020