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The cell board

A cell, or cell board, shown in Figure 4, is the basic building block of an HP Integrity Superdome. Each cabinet can contain up to eight cell boards, which are plugged into the backplane of the cabinet.

In the original Superdome release, the cell board frame contained both the cell board and associated cell power board. In the Integrity Superdome with Intel Itanium 2 processors or mx2 Dual-Processor Modules, the cell and cell power board are in separate assemblies to improve handling. The same cell power board is used with all varieties of cell boards, including those for Itanium 2–based and PA-8800–based systems.

When upgrading an existing HP 9000 Superdome to an Integrity Superdome, the existing cell boards are removed from the system. The DIMMs from these boards are removed and placed into the Integrity Superdome cell boards, which are then loaded into the system along with the cell power boards. Existing HP 9000 Superdome cell boards cannot coexist in the same complex with Integrity Superdome cell boards. In addition, Intel Itanium 2 processors and future PA-RISC processors must be in different complexes. Different Intel Itanium 2 processors can be in the same complex, but they must be in different hard partitions. (For example, the mx2 Dual-Processor Modules [two 1.1 GHz Intel Itanium 2 processors] can be used in one hard partition while another hard partition contains single 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium 2 processors.) This provides organizations with the ability to migrate individual partitions to the latest technology when the time is right for them. In addition, only the partition that is being upgraded needs to be taken down, which reduces the impact to the business. Any cell blockers in the original HP 9000 Superdome system must also be replaced with new cell blockers.

Figure 4. Cell board layout of HP Integrity Superdome with Intel Itanium 2 processors or mx2 Dual-Processor Modules

Each cell board is a self-contained unit, with a symmetric multiprocessor (SMP), main memory, and all necessary hardware:

  • CPUs or mx2 Dual-Processor Modules (up to 4 processors or 4 mx2 Dual-Processor Modules [8 processors])

  • Cell controller ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit)

  • Main memory DIMMs (up to 32 DIMMs per board in 4 DIMM increments, using 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB DIMMs, or some combination of these)

  • Voltage regulator modules (VRMs)


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