IBM, Fujitsu Unveil Entry Servers Based On Clarkdale Desktop PC CPUs


IBM and Fujitsu both announced entry-level servers based on the Clarkdale processors as part of a move to capitalize on customer requirements for low-cost servers.

Intel on Thursday unveiled the long-expected desktop processors as part of a larger introduction of several processor families at CES.

The Clarkdale desktop PC processor family is a new line of dual-core, 32-nanometer processors, including the Core i3-530 and Core i3-540 models. Both processors feature two cores and four compute threads with Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology and a 4-MB cache. The i3-530 runs at a clock speed of 2.93 GHz, while the i3-540 runs at 3.06 GHz.

IBM plans to start shipping new entry-level configurations of its System x3250 rack mount servers and System x3200 tower servers within the next two weeks, said Bob Galush, vice president of the company's System x Technology Group.

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For price reasons, the enterprise market still needs low-cost servers, especially single-socket, dual-core models, Galush said.

"We still think the market for this family of dual-core offering for single-socket system is significant," he said. "It lets us offer dual-socket functionality in a single-socket server."

Fujitsu, meanwhile, this week also unveiled new entry-level Clarkdale-based servers, including its new Primergy TX150 S7 tower and Primergy RX100 S6 rack mount models.

Richard McCormack, senior vice president of server and solutions business at Fujitsu America, said in a statement the new Primergy servers are aimed at providing price-conscious clients with high-end performance together with versatility and reliability.

"The flexibility and power of the PRIMERGY TX150 S7 and PRIMERGY RX100 S6 servers make them ideally suited for general all-around use, and they are affordable enough to be very attractive to clients in the small and mid-size market sector," McCormack said.

Entry-level servers based on desktop PC processors are important for vendors looking to leverage as much business from their server products as possible, said Pete Elliot, director of marketing at Key Information Systems, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based solution provider and IBM partner.

That is especially true for IBM, which needs to maintain its business with entry-level customers after it sold its desktop and mobile PC business to Lenovo in late 2004, Elliot said.

"IBM is trying to maintain as much of its share of the server side of the business as possible," he said. "They already gave up on laptops. It's a tough business."

When it comes to entry-level servers, solution providers like Key Information Systems prefer instead to use server virtualization technology to replace them, but are not adverse to selling them to customers, Elliot said.

"If a customer asks, we wouldn't say no," he said. "If a customer had a big order and needed these to use as a door stopper, I'd bring them in."