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Servers double up with NCR

Intel stamps its approval of an NCR technology that allows a Pentium Pro server to double up on processors via a board upgrade.

Intel is teaming up with NCR to offer new technology which turns a four-processor Pentium Pro server into an eight-processor system.

The two companies have entered into a "technology exchange agreement," which will allow Intel to incorporate NCR's OctaSCALE technology into future products, NCR stated in a written release.

Targeted at enterprises that need intensive transaction processing, departmental, data warehouse, and large printer-server applications, OctaSCALE is based on a memory controller chip that lets corporate users double a four-processor Intel Pentium Pro server to an eight-processor system via a board upgrade.

"Unlike interconnect technologies such as Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) that cluster two or more four-processor symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) servers, OctaSCALE provides a lower-cost solution without the overhead of the interconnect," NCR said. "This allows customers to benefit from the higher performance of a true eight-processor SMP solution in a single cabinet."

The technology agreement gives NCR the Intel stamp of approval, which may be a boon to the company after some hard times since it was acquired by AT&T in 1991. Based in Dayton, Ohio, NCR specializes in high-end servers and open systems architecture, and is expected to be spun out to AT&T shareholders as an independent, publicly-traded company next year.

NCR will incorporate the technology into its own WorldMark servers, which scale from SMP to clustered solutions to massively parallel processor systems in "future releases" as well, the company said.