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Pentium-M chassis to underscore software productivity

Posted: 02 Mar 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PowerMP6? computer system? IBM? Thales Computers? Alex Mendelsohn?

PowerMP6 turnkey computer system

IBM and Thales Computers are jointly readying a product called the PowerMP6. When it debuts, it will be a turnkey computer system designed for maximum software productivity. Right now, it's being shown on Thales's Website, but there's no datasheet posted, nor has pricing been established (we will update this story as it develops).

The PowerMP6 will consist of multiple Intel Pentium-M boards in a 19-inch rack. Performance will be set by the number of Pentium M processors the system runs, and the PowerMP6 available in various customized configurations of up to eight processor boards in a rack.

A PC cousin
Note that a PowerMP6 is very close in function to that of a PC host, in terms of processor architecture and OS. Each processor in the system will also pack an independent GbE interface. All processors are connected through a VITA 31.1GbE network.

An optional Fiber Channel loop or RapidIO interconnect switch fabric can also be provided for high-speed communications with minimal CPU loading (so-called zero-copy communications).

Dual-core Pentium coming
With the integration of the brand new PENTXM2 dual-core single-board computer, Thales says its PowerMP6 system will migrate to dual-core Pentium M configurations by the end of this year. Right now, predecessor PENTXM boards are PC-compatible VMEbus systems using 1.6GHz Pentium M chips or 1.8GHz Pentium M 745 processors.

These single-slot boards feature two PCI mezzanine card sites, 1Gbyte of soldered-in synchronous SDRAM and a variety of interfaces, including an option for an on-board hard disk drive, CompactFlash or an IBM/Hitachi MicroDrive.

Running Red Hat Linux, PowerMP6s will support software productivity and portability through an extensive set of open-source and commercial tools and libraries. The PowerMP6 will feature an optimized message-passing interface, for multi-processor communications.

Realtime tools
These systems will also be supported with software tools for real-time performance analysis, remote control operations and monitoring system management, to name a few. Activities such as system reset, reboot, and access to system administration and configuration control can be handled at any external computer equipped with a Web browser.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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