Sequent Unveils IA-64 Plans as it Readies Price and Performance Leading Pentium II Xeon Systems

BEAVERTON, Ore.—October 12, 1998—Sequent Computer Systems, the leader in Intel-based solutions for the data center, today said it will roll out IA-64™-based server products, beginning with the Merced processor, alongside powerful new IA-32™-based systems.

Sequent plans to offer IA-64-based systems, beginning with Merced, for both the midrange and high-end server markets. Sequent's Merced-based midrange systems will be scalable from 4 to 16 processors running UNIX or Windows NT. The first IA-64 generation of Sequent's NUMACenter will offer optimal price/performance in configurations of 16 processors and greater in a single system running any combination of UNIX and Windows NT in a dynamically managed environment. These systems will deliver extensive capabilities for mixed workload and resource management, in addition to new levels of performance, scalability, and availability.

Under Sequent's plans, both IA-32 and IA-64 processor architectures will co-exist over several years and inter-operate in its NUMACenter environment supporting strategic applications.

Sequent brings more than a decade of experience designing the complex chip-sets, hardware architectures and operating systems required to link multiple Intel processors in large scalable systems. Sequent has already announced its intention to be a leader in developing an industry standard IA-64 Unix, making key technologies from it's Dynix/ptx Unix available to other vendors and partners. These technologies include NUMA capability, data center scalability, and in-depth optimization for Intel's architecture.

"Sequent's expertise in the delivery of highly scalable enterprise class systems, combined with the reliability, scalability, and performance of the Merced processor and future IA-64 products, will provide an optimum environment to address the data center server market segment," said Stephen L. Smith, corporate vice president, Microprocessor Products Group, and general manager, Santa Clara Processor Division of Intel Corporation.

"Intel's IA-64 product family enables a new class of systems that will bring our customers closer to a standards-based enterprise, from the desktop to the data center," said Jeff Pancottine, vice president of global marketing for Sequent. "Sequent brings leadership in scalable NUMA architectures and will play a key role in developing the leading UNIX for the IA-64 architecture."

IA-32 to IA-64 Compatibility and Migration

As a leader in Intel-based systems in the data center, Sequent is uniquely positioned to leverage its strengths in IA-32 based systems as IA-64 products become available. In contrast, the RISC to IA-64 transition required by some other vendors is difficult and expensive. Sequent's IA-64 migration program will provide customers the flexibility to deploy IA-64 bit applications or development environments while leveraging investments in PentiumŪ II Xeon™ processor and future IA-32 based systems. Additionally, Sequent will offer significant forward compatibility for IA-32 applications currently running on its DYNIX/ptx UNIX. Sequent's IA-32 to IA-64 transition allows the customer to bypass big and little endian data incompatibility issues raised in many RISC to IA-64 migrations.

Data Warehousing and Electronic Commerce

The driving force behind the IA-64 family of processors will be innovation in application development that leverages the new technology. Demanding and strategically important application areas like data warehousing and electronic commerce in the telecommunications, financial services and retail markets will likely lead the way.

In complex application realms like operational data warehouses, IA-64 will spark significant innovation. Graphical User Interfaces will become richer, transactions will become smarter, and queries will become more inclusive. Decision support applications will address a finer granularity of data.

As enterprise resource planning applications and online transaction systems become further enmeshed with customer interaction, decision and fraud systems, a common infrastructure will become critical. In addition to offering leading scalability, availability and price performance, IA-64-based systems provide a common environment from desktop to the data center.

IA-64 technology puts fewer limitations in front of developers as they attempt to integrate complex e-commerce and related systems to support large data sets, faster I/O requirements, and vast scalability requirements as new users log on in greater numbers driving concurrency requirements.

Sequent's IA-64-based NUMACenter environment will address exactly these emerging requirements—tens-of-thousands of concurrent users, tens-of-terabytes of data and real time analysis on a scalable, re-deployable, standards-based environment.

About Sequent Computer Systems, Inc.

Sequent Computer Systems (Nasdaq:SQNT), the leader in Intel-based systems for the data center, is committed to the success of its end-user and system integrator customers. Sequent's platform architectures and services are optimized for the scalability, availability and manageability requirements of corporate and institutional data center environments leveraging industry-standard technologies and best-in-class partnerships. Sequent supports more than 10,000 installations worldwide, including many of the world's largest and most sophisticated OLTP, DSS, and RDBMS applications.

For further information, phone Sequent at (503) 626-5700 or (800) 257-9044, or visit our Web site at