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Compaq computers to test new connection technology

The PC maker releases its first prototype computers to let hardware companies start testing a new connection technology called PCI-X.

Compaq Computer has released its first prototype computers to let hardware companies start testing a new connection technology called PCI-X.

PCI-X was developed by Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and IBM as a way to double the speed of the current PCI data pathway. The companies announced the technology in September 1998, and Intel eventually signed up to support it as well.

However, PCI-X is late. Compaq originally projected it would arrive in 1999. A long list of corrections has been compiled since the first version of the specification was released.

Not surprisingly, early 2001 is the most recent projected arrival date.

Compaq has released a developer kit--an upgrade to its Proliant 8500 servers--that lets hardware makers such as those that build network cards work with PCI-X. However, the PCI-X system runs at only 100 MHz, slower than the promised top 133-MHz speed of the technology.