IBM last week bolstered its blade servers with the addition of a four-processor blade.The BladeCenter HS40 uses Intel's Xeon MP processor operating at 2.8 GHz and includes one integrated Ethernet adapter per processor. It supports as much as 4G bytes of RAM per processor. Four additional slots are available for adding adapters.As many as seven HS40s can be contained in IBM's 7U high chassis. And 42 blades can be contained in a standard 42U high rack. HS40s, a credit to IBM ingenuity, can be intermixed in the same chassis with IBM's other blades, the PowerPC-based JS20 and the two-processor HS20.IBM expects the HS40 will be used to host transaction-intensive applications such as customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning. The company expects to ship the HS40 Feb. 13 and has not yet set pricing. It will be able to run either Windows or Linux.By contrast HP's BL40p features 3G bytes of RAM per blade, and only 12 blades can fit in a standard rack.IDC says IBM shipped 18,000 blades in the third quarter of 2003, for a total of $57 million in sales. IDC says the blade server market will grow to $3.7 billion by 2006.IBM also introduced a four-processor xSeries server. The 365 features Xeon MP processors and as much as 32G bytes of RAM. It starts at $6,039 for one processor and 2G bytes of RAM.