Compaq, IBM and HP Challenge Intel on Bus Design

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Compaq Computer Corp., IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. are proposing a new design for the PCI bus that works with microprocessors.

Instead of allowing Intel to decide exactly how the bus is architected, thus making the bus proprietary to Intel, the three computer giants want Intel to leave the bus technology as on open standard. By developing their own bus technology, which the companies call PCI-X, the three companies would be developing the means to enable Intel’s processors to run faster. Intel’s PCI buses currently are limited to 66 MHz. The PCI-X proposal, on the other hand, would create a bus capable of running at 133 MHz.

Intel has yet to publicly describe its own next-generation technology for the PCI Bus. But the company maintains that Compaq, IBM and HP can send the proposed standard to the PCI standard committee, and claims the process is open.

The three companies originally planned to announce the proposed standard next week, but that has been delayed. However, The Wall Street Journal reported that a draft news release describing the technology was circulated privately among the companies. – Thomas Sullivan, Staff Reporter/Reviews Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.