Thursday, November 5, 2009

Could IBM be building "glueless" eight-socket systems?

Long time chip industry observer, Eachus, speculates on The Motley Fool:

Hmm. Even in the Intel presentation you linked, slide 15 talks about IBM's 5th generation X series chipset. I do expect IBM to sell standard 4xNehalem-EX boxes, but I think they will use their own chipset in larger systems. Could IBM just be designing an I/O chip of their own, and be building "glueless" eight-socket systems? Possible, but IBM has a lot of institutional knowledge about building multiCPU systems with various CPU ISAs. I'm fairly sure that they would take one look at Beckton and conclude that their existing technology could support two Beckton chips with a little work to convert to what is now called Quickpath. We are talking a few man-years to add Quickpath to their current X-4 chip, vs. hundreds of man years for a complete redesign. Which would you choose? ;-)

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