Compaq broke a three-year self-imposed silence last week by revealing that it helped develop the Profusion chipset that most Intel OEMs will use in their eight-way Xeon servers.
The Corollary Profusion chipset uses four Compaq-developed multi-tier PCI bridges, which facilitate streaming straight from the memory to the I/O.
In return for its technology, Compaq can buy the chipset at foundry costs, cheaper than rivals, and will receive royalty payments for every chipset sold.
Compaq has been receiving more prototypes of the Profusion chipsets than all of its competitors put together. "Due to our development relationship with Corollary, when we go to foundry, we get half the shipment and Intel gets half, half of which it keeps itself and half it passes to OEMs," said Paul Miller, Intel server strategy manager at Compaq.
Miller claimed that this gives Compaq the competitive advantage of having more pre-production machines to put into beta sites.
The deal between Compaq and Corollary, the developer of Profusion, was struck three years ago and Intel agreed to honour contractual obligations when it purchased Corollary seven months ago. "We are maintaining all agreements between Compaq and Corollary, but we will not comment on the specifics of the relationship," said an Intel spokesman.
Other Intel customers played down the revelation. "Especially with this business with the FTC, you would expect Intel to play a fair game with technology," said Mark Wheeler, UK server and storage manager at Dell.
- More enterprise news, p30.
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