Bull working on its own chipset for Intel-based HPC

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Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Register has an interesting piece of news that should only serve to grow that nagging feeling at the back of your mind that Bull is a company you should be paying more attention to. Evidently he got hold of a presentation (or something) about a new chipset that Bull has had on the simmer for several years, waiting for CSI — now QPI — to hatch.

Bull logoThe Fame D chipset is akin to IBM’s EX4 and future EX5 chipsets for Xeon processors in that it is used to maintain cache coherency across multiple four-socket motherboards, which themselves have their own chipsets to glue the memories of four processors together into a single symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) cluster.

The heart of the Fame D chipset is a gadget called the Bull Coherent Switch, which sounds like a funky name for the kind of rationalization you might do after a few pints in the pub, but which is actually, as its name suggests, a switch for linking multiple motherboards together by their memories. This switch will support both Itanium and Xeon processors, according to Bull, but not mixed within the same system because the Itanium and Xeon instruction sets are different.

Much more in the story, which is quite interesting.