The key value to the customer is that the mx2 Dual-Processor Module provides up to twice the number of processors and performance density in a system without changing the sockets, system size, and power requirements. In fact, with HP-UX 11i the HP Integrity Superdome can scale to 128-way. Thus customers who are hitting the top end of the capacity of their current systems (e.g., 32 CPUs in an Integrity Superdome system with 32 single Intel Itanium 2 processors) can now obtain extra capacity without having to add additional systems or cabinets.
In addition, this offers Integrity Superdome customers superior investment protection. To take advantage of the mx2 Dual-Processor Module, all the customer has to do is swap out the existing Intel Itanium 2 processors with the new mx2 Dual-Processor Modules. Furthermore, single Intel Itanium 2 processors and mx2 Dual-Processor Modules can coexist on the same system (as long as they are in different hard partitions). This provides users with the choice of adding this new technology to the partitions they choose at the time they desire.
Figure 7. HP innovation with the mx2 Dual-Processor Module
The crossbar backplane
Each crossbar backplane contains two sets of two crossbar ASICs that provide a non-blocking connection between eight cells and the other backplane. Each backplane cabinet can support up to eight cells or 32 processors or mx2 Dual-Processor Modules (in an Integrity Superdome with 32 processors or 32 mx2 Dual-Processor Modules [64 CPUs] in a single cabinet). Two backplanes can be linked together with flex cables to produce a cabinet that can support up to 16 cells or 64 processors or mx2 Dual-Processor Modules (in an Integrity Superdome with 64 processors or 64 mx2 Dual-Processor Modules [128 CPUs] in dual cabinets).