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RLX incorporates Intel in server lineup

Server start-up RLX Technologies is using processors from the chipmaker in its latest machine--a shift from its all-Transmeta product lineup.

Server start-up RLX Technologies is using processors from Intel in its latest machine--a shift from its all-Transmeta product lineup.

The company's new RLX ServerBlade 800i runs on an 800MHz mobile processor from Intel, according to the company. RLX specializes in blade servers, ultra-slim computers that consume less energy and take up far less room than conventional servers. These characteristics make blades cheaper to operate and help information-technology managers avoid computer meltdowns and other malfunctions. Several hundred blade servers can be shoved in a rack that typically holds only 42 two-processor servers.

RLX emerged in early 2001 as the first company to adopt Crusoe processors from Transmeta for servers. Originally the processors were designed for notebooks. Crusoe chips can consume far less energy than many Intel chips.

Texas-based RLX also drew attention because its executive ranks included several former high-ranking Compaq Computer executives. In addition, it struck a deal in which IBM agreed to sell its servers. Several other start-ups followed in RLX's wake.

Soon afterward, however, a number of big-name computer manufacturers--including Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and IBM--announced plans for blade servers using Intel chips. Many of the companies touting Transmeta-based servers collapsed by the summer of 2001, done in by competition, a slow server market, and the uphill challenge inherent in convincing corporate America to try something different.

Although it has stayed afloat, RLX was forced to lay off employees in 2001. Several key executives also left the company.

Although the new server uses Intel chips, the company still sells Transmeta-based servers, according to a company representative.

"Our goal was creating a ServerBlade with the highest performance possible without diminishing the recognized RLX position as leader in server density," Bob Van Steenberg, chief technology officer at RLX, explained in a statement.

The ServerBlade 8001 has a starting price of $1,449 and comes with 256MB of memory and a 20GB hard drive.