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Compaq, HP and IBM Collaborate to Double Performance Of PCI Bus Technology.

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 9, 1998 --

Broad Industry Support Drives PCI-X as Open Industry Standard

Compaq, Hewlett-Packard Company and IBM today announce a joint development initiative to deliver significant improvements in the PCI bus technology standard. These improvements will give customers an unmatched level of performance for their current industry standard I/O systems, especially for high-end business critical applications.

This new technology, PCI-X, is an extension to the existing PCI bus, runs at speeds up to 133 MHz and provides the critical I/O bandwidth needed for industry standard servers running enterprise applications such as Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Ultra3 SCSI and Cluster Interconnects. PCI-X will provide customers with much needed PCI bandwidth and with investment protection because it offers backward compatibility with existing systems. PCI-X-based products will be available in enterprise-class products the second half of 1999.

"PCI-X clearly drives industry standard computing to the next level. Our collaboration with HP and IBM will foster the extension of existing PCI bus standards well into the future to meet the demanding computing requirements of enterprise customers," according to Mary McDowell, vice president and general manager, Industry Standard Server Division, Compaq Computer Corporation.

"PCI-X is focused on reducing customer ownership costs by extending the life of today's PCI bus technology. IBM, along with Compaq and HP, is providing customers with a stable technology roadmap to future I/O systems without sacrificing their investments made in PCI technology to date," said Randy Groves, vice president of development, IBM Netfinity.

"By delivering greater speed, improved transfer rates and increased efficiency, PCI-X delivers leading edge innovations to an existing technology, " said Denny Georg, general manager, Systems and Technology, HP's Enterprise Systems Group. "Our collaboration has resulted in the innovations needed to deliver the level of performance required for business-critical 24x7 computing."

The 64-bit PCI-X bus operates at speeds up to 133 MHz, providing burst transfer rates above 1 gigabyte per second, eight times the rate of the most common PCI implementations today. PCI-X also features an enhanced protocol to increase the efficiency of data transfer and to simplify electrical timing requirements, an important factor at higher clock frequencies. Allowances for future capabilities are also provided. In addition, PCI-X is designed to accomplish this while remaining backward compatible with the current PCI bus.

PCI-X already has broad industry support, a requirement for the successful introduction of any new technology in this industry. In addition to all the promoter companies, leading Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) including 3Com, Adaptec and Mylex also support PCI-X and will introduce products when platforms become available. "We are working on PCI-X because we think it represents an important, mainstream extension of PCI technology," said Robert Selinger, vice president of Adaptec's Advanced Technology Group. "Adaptec is committed to faster I/O, such as PCI-X, due to its fundamental impact on the future of servers and workstations."

"As the worldwide networking leader, 3Com Corporation has a keen interest in this new, standards-based technology that helps accelerate network performance," said Randy Meals, vice president and general manager for advanced products. "Specifically, 3Com believes PCI-X removes one more important barrier between the individual and the pent-up power of the network. We enthusiastically endorse the collaboration of Compaq, HP and IBM and support their goal of making PCI-X available as a standard bus as quickly as possible."

"As a leading RAID controller vendor, Mylex is excited about PCI-X's potential to reduce I/O bottleneck," said KK Rao, CTO and vice president of engineering at Mylex Corporation. "The efforts of PCI-X group will complement recent technology advances in the RAID controller arena that reduce I/O bottlenecks between storage and network servers." In addition, Intel and other industry leading companies are reviewing the PCI-X proposal.

To ensure PCI-X is broadly available to the industry as an open standard, Compaq, HP and IBM have submitted a proposal to the PCI Special Interest Group (SIG) to include PCI-X in future PCI standards while ensuring consistency and compatibility with today's PCI. By turning the technology over to the SIG, it gives all companies the ability to develop PCI-X-based products, which will accelerate its adoption and address a broad range of customer needs.

Compaq Background

Founded in 1982, Compaq Computer Corporation is a Fortune Global 200 company. Compaq is the second largest computer company in the world and the largest global supplier of personal computers. Compaq develops and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, networking and communication products, commercial desktop and portable products and consumer PCs. The company is an industry leader in environmentally friendly programs and business practices.

Compaq products are sold and supported in more than 100 countries through a network of authorized Compaq marketing partners. Customer support and information about Compaq and its products are available at or by calling 1-800-OK-COMPAQ.

Product information and reseller locations are available by calling 1-800-345-1518.

HP Background

Hewlett-Packard Company is a leading global provider of computing, Internet and Intranet solutions, services, communications products and measurement solutions, all of which are recognized for excellence in quality and support. HP has 127,200 employees and had revenue of $42.9 billion in its 1997 fiscal year.

Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at

IBM Background

IBM is the world's largest technology company.

Compaq, Registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 CONTACT: Compaq Computer Corporation
 Ted Bockius, 281/927-8311
 Shandwick International
 Christine Cambpell, 617/536-0470

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Publication:Business Wire
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 11, 1998
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