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New IBM Supercomputer Packs 128 POWER4 Processors in a Single Frame

Smaller, Denser, Faster eServer to Transform Supercomputing Industry

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Armonk, N.Y. - 15 Nov 2002: IBM today announced an ultra dense UNIX® server targeted at the High Performance Computing market that is capable of reaching half a trillion operations per second in a single frame in peak processing power. The new eServer™ packs up to 128 POWER4™ processors per frame and is available in four or eight processor building blocks.

The eServer p655 is designed to meet the stringent demands of scientific and technical computing and Business Intelligence, as well as those applications that require very large databases or massively parallel processing including digital media and life sciences.

The eServer p655 is the next generation of the IBM supercomputer made famous by Deep Blue, the system that defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov. Since Deep Blue, IBM has been a leader in supercomputing, dominating the popular Top500List of Supercomputers. IBM supercomputers are used in life sciences to explore genomic research, in automobile design to make cars safer, and in financial markets to optimize investment strategies.

The eServer p655 continues to leverage IBM breakthrough microprocessor technology to deliver density and price/performance that make it a superior alternative for customers thinking of deploying Itanium®2 server clusters.

A single eServer p655 rack with 128 POWER4 processors occupies significantly less space than the six racks needed to hold HP rx5670 Itanium2 systems with the same number of processors.(1) Additionally, a 4-way eServer p655 with 1.3 GHz POWER4 processors has a SPECfp_rate2000 of 51.7, offering 15 percent better throughput than a HP rx5670 with four processors.(2)

Overall, the price of a 4-way eServer p655 is $72, 899 compared to $72,449 for a similarly configured 4-way Itanium2-based HP rx5670.(3)

"Tomorrow's innovations are rooted in the bedrock of supercomputing technologies, where IBM brings decades of experience to the table," said Adalio Sanchez, General manager of IBM eServer pSeries. "The eServer p655 is a significant breakthrough for customers who need massive performance power and scalability without massive computing space and costs. The flexibility and compact design of the POWER4-based eServer p655 make it an easy winner over competing systems, and sets a new standard by which all newcomers will be measured."

The eServer p655 system can be clustered using eServer cluster 1600, combined using a high-performance switch. For greater flexibility, systems can be defined using logical partitioning. Cluster systems administration from a single control workstation is provided by IBM's proven cluster management software offering.

Customers who operate large server clusters demand a system designed for uncompromising availability -- and the p655 delivers. From the integrated service processor to the Chipkill™ and bit-steering memory technologies, the eServer p655 offers enterprise-class autonomic computing capability. From a performance, packaging, flexibility or availability point of view, the p655 is ideal for customers whose workloads are best managed with a clustered server solution.

The starting price for the eServer p655 is $72,449(4) and is expected to ship in volume later this year.

The p655 will run version 5.1 of the AIX 5L(tm) operating system, and Linux when available. (5)