The Merced processor, sometimes referred to as the P7, will be Intel's first 64-bit processor and is expected to offer a dramatic increase in performance over the current generation of 32-bit processors that include the Pentium and Pentium Pro processors. Intel is expected to introduce the chip in 1998, or 1999 at the latest.
The Merced processor will be used in Pyramid's Primergy servers and Celsius workstations, the company said. Parent company Siemens Nixdorf is setting up a team of experts in personal computers and middleware to develop Merced-based systems.
"The future addition of Merced technology to our Primergy and Celsius product lines will allow us to deliver unprecedented power as well as scalability and expandability to our customers," said John Chen, head of Siemens Nixdorf's Open Enterprise Computing division in a prepared statement.
Siemens Nixdorf said these efforts are setting the stage for the early market introduction of Merced-based servers and workstations. The "seamless compatibility" with today's 32-bit industry standard applications and operating systems will enable customers to move "smoothly" to Merced technology while maintaining full backwards compatibility, the company said.
Part of its Merced strategy is to deliver server technologies such as clustering as well as enterprise-class software for transaction processing and system management.
On the workstation front, Siemens Nixdorf and Pyramid will be able to deliver a dramatic performance improvement in Windows NT-based Celsius workstations, the company said.