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Montecito broadens Fujitsu Itanium line

Japanese server seller is upgrading two high-end models and introducing a third, midrange system. Photos: Fujitsu servers meet Montecito

Fujitsu is revamping its server line with Intel's dual-core "Montecito" version of the Itanium 2 processor, upgrading two high-end models and introducing a third, midrange system.

The Japanese server seller, which ranks fifth in global market share, began a partnership with Intel in 2003 to build its own Itanium-based servers. The systems, which incorporate technologies from Fujitsu's mainframe family, are emblematic of the high-end server push that has replaced Intel's once-broader Itanium ambitions.

Fujitsu Itanium

Fujitsu launched its first Itanium-based machines--the 16-processor Primequest 440 and 32-processor 480--in 2005. With the Montecito chip, Fujitsu is upgrading the machines into the 540 and 580 and expanding the North American family members with the eight-processor Primequest 520, said Richard McCormack, senior vice president of marketing for Fujitsu Computer Systems, the company's North American subsidiary.

"A dual-core, eight-socket platform addresses a huge section of the market," McCormack said.

All the systems will be available in September, the company said. It didn't release prices for the new Primequest models.

Montecito models

Fujitsu's announcement of the systems is happening on Tuesday in conjunction with Intel's debut of six Montecito models, formally called the 9000 series of the Itanium 2 family. The chips, though arriving late, now will carry the weight of Intel's attempt to make them as widespread in powerful high-end servers as its Xeon is in lower-end machines.

Fujitsu has years of experience designing powerful, reliable servers through its Amdahl mainframe line. But it's not just working to bring that technology to Primequest. It also has a Primepower line using its own Sparc64 processors and running Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system.

A new generation of Sparc-based systems, called the Advanced Product Line and jointly designed by Sun, are scheduled to go on sale starting this year.