Compaq has confirmed it is to introduce an eight-way Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) server, clearing up confusion over its strategy.
In February, Mike Perez, senior vice president of the company's server product division, said there were no circumstances where it would produce systems with more than four processors because when the release of the Microsoft Wolfpack clustering technology would fill the gap.
Two months earlier the company said it was investigating eight-way processor technology, amid strong rumours that it was negotiating a licensing deal with Corollary for its SMP architecture.
Last week John Rose, senior vice president of the enterprise computing group at Compaq US, said the company would ready an eight-way unit for release in the middle of the year.
Hugh Jenkins, network product manager at Compaq UK, said: "Up until now Compaq has been somewhat reluctant to jump into delivering eight-way systems.
The reason we haven't jumped in earlier is that most customers have only needed two to four-way machines and linear scalability wasn't always there.
"The other issue was the cost of building eight-way; the finished machine would have been expensive," he added.
Compaq will cover its customers against the future by providing a machine which supports the specification this year, prior to the release of actual servers next year.
The first server supporting the spec is likely to use Intel's next generation Deschutes processors, due to be released in February next year.
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