Computer companies collaborate to speed up PCI-bus technology

Compaq Computer Corp. (Houston, TX), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP; Palo Alto CA), and IBM Corp.(White Plains, NY) have formed a joint development initiative to improve PCI-bus technology. These improvements are expected to extend the existing PCI bus speed to 133 MHz and provide expanded I/O bandwidth. Called PCI-X, the new technology will also be backwards compatible with existing systems. PCI-X-based products are projected to be available during the second half of 1999.

Oct 1st, 1998

Computer companies collaborate to speed up PCI-bus technology

Compaq Computer Corp. (Houston, TX), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP; Palo Alto CA), and IBM Corp.(White Plains, NY) have formed a joint development initiative to improve PCI-bus technology. These improvements are expected to extend the existing PCI bus speed to 133 MHz and provide expanded I/O bandwidth. Called PCI-X, the new technology will also be backwards compatible with existing systems. PCI-X-based products are projected to be available during the second half of 1999.

Says Mary McDowell, vice president and general manager, industry standard server division, Compaq Computer Corp., "PCI-X drives industry-standard computing to the next level. Our collaboration with HP and IBM will foster the extension of existing PCI bus standards well into the future to meet demanding computing requirements."

Says Randy Groves, vice president of development, IBM Netfinity, "PCI-X is focused on reducing ownership costs by extending the life of today`s PCI bus technology. IBM, along with Compaq and HP, is providing a stable technology roadmap to future I/O systems without sacrificing the investments made in PCI technology to date."

Adds Denny Georg, general manager, systems and technology, HP`s enterprise systems group, "By delivering greater speed, improved transfer rates, and increased efficiency, PCI-X delivers leading-edge innovations to an existing technology. Our collaboration has resulted in the innovations needed to deliver the level of performance required for 24-hour, seven-day computing."

The 64-bit PCI-X bus is aimed at providing burst transfer rates above 1 Gbyte/s, eight times the rate of today`s PCI implementations. It also provides an enhanced protocol to increase data transfer efficiency and simplify timing requirements. The PCI-X bus technology has already attracted broad industry support. In addition to all the promoter companies, leading independent hardware vendors including 3Com, Adaptec, and Mylex also support PCI-X and will introduce products when platforms become available. In addition, Intel and other industry leading companies are reviewing the PCI-X proposal.

"We are working on PCI-X because we think it represents an important, mainstream extension of PCI technology," says Robert Selinger, vice president of Adaptec`s advanced technology group.

Adds K.K. Rao, CTO and vice president of engineering at Mylex Corp., "The efforts of PCI-X group will complement recent technology advances in the RAID controller arena that reduce I/O bottlenecks between storage and network servers."

To ensure PCI-X is broadly available to the industry as an open standard, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM have submitted a proposal to the PCI Special Interest Group (SIG) to include PCI-X in future PCI standards while ensuring consistency and compatibility with today`s PCI technology. Turning the advanced technology over to the SIG will enable many companies to develop PCI-X-based products, which will accelerate its technology adoption and address a range of customer needs.

Alliances abound

The Singapore Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the Semiconductor Group of Siemens AG (Cupertino, CA) have signed a research-collaboration agreement to jointly develop organic-light-emitting-diode technology on flexible substrates for commercial applications. . . . PixelVision Inc. (Portland, OR) and LaVision GmbH (Gottingen, Germany) have agreed to blend their expertise to target users of optical diagnostic systems and digital cameras for in-situ and nonintrusive imaging applications, including combustion, flow, and plasma analysis.

Mergers multiply

Elbit Ltd. (Haifa, Israel) has agreed in principle to sell its nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance medical imaging businesses to GE Medical Systems (Waukesha, WI) for $100 million.

Management moves

Candescent Technologies Corp. (San Jose, CA) has appointed Robert A. Ritter as senior vice president of marketing. He was previously group vice president of marketing for Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas.

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