As Intel Corp. last week re-entered the motherboard chipset arena, ServerWorks Corp. moved to bolster its own position by unveiling an I/O core-logic chipset for Pentium 4 Xeon-based servers, workstations, server appliances, and storage platforms.
The GC-LE is the latest in the company's Grand Champion family of chip-sets that manage data flow between a system's processors, memory, and peripherals. The design accommodates single and dual-processor systems with up to eight PC1600 double-data-rate (DDR) DIMMs and four PCI-X buses. The GC-LE also supports a backup memory module for system reliability.
"We can declare some portion of the memory as spare memory," said Raju Vegesna, president and chief executive of Santa Clara, Calif.-based ServerWorks, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadcom Corp. "If there is any problem with other memory, the system can fall back to the spare memory. So the customers don't have to shut down the system, which is very important for the server."
ServerWorks has a cross-licensing agreement with Intel, but the two will now compete for the same sockets on Intel-based boards.
OEMs planning to incorporate the GC-LE in their server products include Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, and Hewlett-Packard, according to ServerWorks.
Based on a recent survey of OEMs and motherboard makers by InQuest Market Research, Higley, Ariz., ServerWorks had landed 83 of 90 possible P4 Xeon design wins for 2002.
"ServerWorks is overwhelmingly the leader here," said InQuest analyst Bert McComas. He attributed the success to the breadth and depth of the company's product line.
The GC-LE boasts 3.2Gbyte/s bandwidth by deploying twin bands of DDR memory operating in a two-way configuration. The design accommodates up to eight registered PC1600 DIMMs with capacities of 128Mbytes to 2Gbytes each, for a system maximum of 16Gbytes. The GC-LE also supports one-way operation where customers are willing to trade memory bandwidth for lower system cost.
The logic includes 128-bit error-correcting code that can detect 16-bit errors and correct 8-bit errors.
Pricing starts at about $100 in volume quantities.