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HP ships dense, cool, low-power processor

May 11, 20042 mins
Data Center

* HP’s processor module runs cool and raises density

HP shipped technology last week that results in cooler servers and saves floor space and power in the data center.

Code-named Hondo, the MX2 dual-Itanium processor module is unique to HP. It places two processors on the same board in HP’s Integrity servers, which range from the four-processor rx4640 to the 128-processor SuperDome.

The goal of the MX2 dual Itanium 2 processor module is to allow users to consolidate their servers into smaller spaces and save money on power and cooling. Because the MX2 places two processors on a single board, twice the number of servers can fit in a rack. The MX2 operates at only 10% more power and cooling than uni-processor Itanium 2 servers.

Further, HP claims that users will be able to rack new Itanium servers with the module in the same enclosure as previous Itaniums.

The MX2 was first detailed by HP at the Intel Developer’s Forum last year. It combines two Itanium 2 processors with 32M bytes of L4 cache memory onto a daughter card that is pin-compatible with Itanium 2 Madison processors. The MX2 runs at 1.1 GHz.

Gordon Haff of Illuminata says it will run “at a reduced clock speed to limit power consumption and heat production.” According to Haff, the dual-processor MX2 will “put the same electrical load on the system bus as a standard uni-processor Madison.”

The MX2 is designed for transaction-intensive applications, high-performance computing and business intelligence applications.

HP isn’t the first to do dual-core work. IBM’s Power4 processor has a dual-core server chip. Intel and Sun are also looking at dual-core technology. Intel, however, won’t introduce dual-core processors until next year.