ServerWorks Corp. has taken another step to move its high-performance chipset into the non-server market by signing an agreement to supply the device for Force Computers Inc.'s embedded computers.
The pact covers a range of ServerWorks' chipsets supporting PC100 and PC133 SDRAM with two or more memory channels. Force Computers, San Jose, a subsidiary of Solectron Corp., will use the high-end chipsets for application-specific embedded computer boards, especially for the telecom and network markets.
Force executives said the chipset will be used on embedded computer boards with multiple leading-edge Pentium III processors. The embedded computers will be available later this year.
ServerWorks, Santa Clara, Calif., last year expanded into the workstation market when Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intergraph Corp. each selected the company's PC133 multiple-processor dual-channel chipset for their high-end desktop models.
ServerWorks is also developing a double- data-rate (DDR) chipset for Intel Corp.'s upcoming 32-bit Foster and 64-bit McKinley servers. The two companies have strong ties, and Intel reportedly was ready to make a minority investment in ServerWorks. However, Intel is strongly promoting Direct Rambus DRAM for high-performance desktops and workstations.
ServerWorks' continuing penetration of this market with an SDRAM multiple-channel configuration runs counter to Intel's strategy, sources said. They believe Intel would prefer contract companies, such as Force Computer, to use Direct Rambus memory and related Intel chipsets rather than SDRAM or projected DDR versions.
Embedded computers have much longer product lifetimes than the traditional general-purpose desktop and server markets, said David Pulling, ServerWorks' executive vice president. "We're committed to supporting these longer product life cycles, and we're adapting our business practices to do so," he said.