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Firms back Profusion infusion

Microsoft, Intel, and SCO agree to support a new architecture that hosts eight of Intel's Pentium Pro chips, twice as many as are found in servers now on the market.

Microsoft, Intel, and SCO today endorsed a new server architecture that hosts eight of Intel's high-speed Pentium Pro chips, twice as many as are found in servers now on the market.

The new architecture, called Profusion, was developed by Corollary, a leading vendor of multiprocessing chipsets for systems based on Intel processors.

As reported by CNET earlier this week, Profusion is expected to increase performance dramatically by bumping to eight the number of Pentium Pro chips in a server from the standard two or four. This kind of high-powered server is needed by businesses that rely on intensive transaction processing or data warehousing applications.

With Profusion, a multiprocessing operating system like Windows NT or UnixWare can be tuned to run on systems with as many as eight processors, so Pentium Pro server manufacturers will be able to deliver low-cost alternatives to RISC-based systems from vendors such as Sun Microsystems.

Profusion dedicates a separate Pentium Pro bus for each four-processor configuration, plus setting aside a third bus exclusively for I/O traffic. Each bus operates independently, overcoming the Pentium Pro's four-processor limitation, according to Corollary.

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