IBM, Hewlett Packard and Compaq formalised their split from Intel over the future of the PC server architecture last week by joining Adaptec to form the Future I/O Forum.
The vendors are working on a Future I/O input-output specification for Intel-based PC servers to be presented at the Server I/O conference in California next month.
By creating their own standard, the vendors are revolting against what is widely seen as an attempt by Intel to commoditise the PC server market.
Two weeks ago, Intel announced its Next Generation Input Output (NGIO) industry forum, which includes Dell, Sun Microsystems, Hitachi, NEC and Siemens. The forum is designed to develop the NGIO specification, which it first proposed in November 1997.
The first NGIO systems are expected to hit the market in 2000 - two years before the first systems using Future I/O are due.
Machines based on Intel's next-generation processors, such as the 64-bit Merced, will face the problem of competing with rival proprietary server architectures from HP and IBM. Intel will need to replace industry-standard PCI buses with technology that can take advantage of the faster breed of processors.
Kim Brown, analyst at Dataquest, said: 'HP spends a lot of money on I/O - that's why it wants a standard that can be innovated upon by OEMs. Intel would like all OEMs to be distributors.'
But Intel was unhappy about the proposed rival standard. A representative for Intel said: 'Unfortunately, when you get in this situation where there are competing standards, it slows down the growth of the market.
'Our understanding is that these three companies - IBM, Compaq and HP - are going to offer a proprietary, royalty-based technology.'
By contrast, the core specification of Intel's NGIO will be available royalty-free, he added.
Trilogy creates €20m-revenue MSP powerhouse with swoop on 40-person cybersecurity specialist Zinopy
A spate of acquisitions this summer prevented the usual news lull experienced in August, Tom Wright explains
Marian McHugh asks private equity partners how a channel boss can boost their firm's value ahead of selling up
Insight exec talks to CRN following her keynote speech at ECLF 2018