IBM launched its new entry-level Unix machine on Tuesday which sees the introduction of its Power4 processor in the lower end of the market.
Jon Barnes, IBM's pSeries server product manager, said that the p630 server is pitched against Sun Microsystems's latest v480 machine that features two or four 900MHz UltraSparc III processors.
"We are marketing it as the 'no-compromise' entry Unix server, distinguishing ourselves from Sun which has a much more simplified version of its product range," he said.
The p630 comes in one-, two- and four-way varieties, unlike its bigger counterpart, the p670, which housed a four-chip module as its base model and cost $178,000.
The price of the new server with one Power4 processor running at 1GHz with 1Gb of memory and 18Gb of disk space is expected to be $12,495, putting it in direct competition with Sun and Compaq's Alpha systems. UK prices have yet to be announced.
The Power4 processors have a dual-core integrated onto a single slab of silicon, making a single chip act as two processors. Within the Power4 chips, one core can be left inactive giving IBM a degree of flexibility in pricing models.
The p630 features technology found in its more expensive cousins such as chip-kill memory, which brings Raid-like qualities to memory. Bits can be arranged across multiple memory chips so that, if one chip fails, data is not lost. Up to 16Gb of memory can be put into one server.
PCI-X, the next-generation bus technology, will make its presence felt when adapters for the p630 become available later this year.
It will also support logical partitioning allowing Linux and Aix, IBM's Unix flavour, to run off the same box.
Up to 250Gb of disk space can be fitted into four disk slots. The server is 4U in height, so 10 such boxes can be installed in a single rack.
Barnes said that the new machine is aimed at departmental high-performance computing applications and the web server market.
Found by calculating the strength of the material deep inside the crust of neutron stars
Can highlight in real-time the relevant regions of an image being described
Double legal trouble for Musk as he also faces civil lawsuit over renewed British pot-holer 'paedo' claims
Battery development could help boost performance of smartphones