IBM will crank up the power of its mainframe servers once more next week, when it announces an 820Mips base system on 5 May.
The new models are designed to destroy the rationale for customers to pay a premium for high powered alternatives from IBM's rivals, notably the Skyline IBM-compatible range from Hitachi/Comparex.
The base model in the latest System 390 range, which offers a single engine powered at 115Mips, and up to 820Mips in total, will ship before September. In December, a turbo system will increase this rating to 124Mips, or 880 in total.
These figures are without its new copper Cmos processor technology, coming next year, which will add an extra 30 per cent at least to the power.
IBM is also planning a new 64-bit clock for its mainframes. This will help speed up the systems still further and the new clock will be precise enough to handle the higher speeds, unlike current designs. The change will also get round a problem with current clocks, similar to the Year 2000 issue, where they roll over at 2043.
Old clocks - in current IBM machines and the Hitachi Skyline - will not be compatible with the 64-bit development, which seems to drive another nail in the coffin of ECL processor technology as Cmos machines start to gain dominance. IBM will also make it another argument against investing in Skyline, since it will provide the new performance - and a migration path for current users - within a year.
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