IBM today announced a powerful line of AS/400e servers powered by the world's first production microchips made of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and copper wiring.
According to Big Blue, the addition of SOI technology alone can increase the performance of the IStar chip by up to 20 to 30 per cent by reducing the effects of harmful electrical leakage. The technology works by reducing the capacitance of transistors on a microchip - slashing switching times and minimising power loss.
Doug Grose, vice president of IBM Server Development, said: "Silicon-on-insulator and copper chip technologies are a powerful one-two punch for AS/400e server performance."
Using its insulator and copper chip technology, IBM has been able to launch a range of AS/400 servers 3.6 times faster than the previous generation of machines. In addition, Java enhancements have been added which improve performance by 65 per cent.
An IBM spokesman said the technology will take AS/400 servers, which he predicted would capture market share from Sun Microsystems, into "mainframe country" for the first time.
SOI will give a boost to the performance of RS/6000 servers later this year. The technology will also serve as a building block for the IBM Power4 processor, which is intended for use in future generations of both AS/400 and RS/6000 servers. IBM also hopes to license the technology to personal digital assistant and notebook suppliers, where the power-saving features are likely to be attractive.
Chris Martin, an analyst at Xephon, said: "IBM has always been innovative in this area, and this is a continuance of its attempts to get the best out the semiconductors themselves."
"If it can improve the performance it can get down costs."
The servers are being positioned towards the datacentre and as a front-end engine for internet-based solutions such as supply chain management, server-side Java, Domino, business intelligence and business-to-business ecommerce.
AS/400e supports eXtensible Markup Language (XML), allowing users to extend AS/400 applications to pervasive devices such as mobile phones and handheld devices.
An integrated Netfinity Server that plugs into an AS/400 allows users to combine AS/400 applications with Windows NT Server and Windows 2000 Server applications on a single server.
Both AS/400e 800 series servers and OS/400 V4R5 are scheduled for general availability in August 2000.
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting
Alterations in capillary blood flow can be caused by body position change
Curiosity rover is in 'normal mode' but not transmitting scientific data back to base
NatWest outage comes a day after Barclays' IT systems shut out customers and staff