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Analysis of Amdahl's Latest Processors' Performance

Amdahl Boosts Its Millenniums

Almost Seven Percent Better Performance Than Originally Announced

When IBM boosted the performance of its CMOS "engine" to about 61 MIPS last June, leapfrogging Amdahl's Millennium 500 models (45 MIPS), Amdahl promised to go one better in the first quarter of 1998 with its Millennium 700 line of processors.

Now Amdahl has not only gone one better and leapfrogged IBM again with a 75 MIPS CMOS "engine," as announced last June (see Annex Bulletin 97-25, 6/09/97), but it is delivering almost 7% higher performance with its Millennium 700 line. This puts its single engine at about 80 MIPS, and the top of the line single footprint at over 650 MIPS. But the greatest power of the CMOS technology comes through Parallel Sysplex - a method which ties together up to 32 such footprints horizontally. In such a maximum configuration (12x32), Amdahl's Millennium complex can theoretically deliver over 15,000 MIPS (see Tables 3 and 4).

While we are not aware of any customers who have a practical need for such mainframe power, Amdahl's top performance is about 15 times greater than the top-of-the-line Hitachi Skyline mainframes which use the more expensive bipolar technology (see the chart on next page).

As a result, we expect both Amdahl and IBM to gain market share this year against Hitachi. The Skyline has helped this Japanese vendor gain mainframe share in the last two years, but it will be clearly outmatched now that both Amdahl and IBM are firing on all cylinders again.

Happy bargain hunting!

Bob Djurdjevic

Additional Charts:

  • Amdahl's Parallel Sysplex Performance
  • Mainframe market shares - Footprints
  • Worldwide & U.S. mainframe market revenues
  • Worldwide mainframe market shares (Amdahl, IBM, Hitachi)
  • IBM worldwide MIPS shipments vs. price/performance  (1990-1998)
  • IBM large systems revenue shares


  • Market shares of IBM, Amdahl and Hitachi (1983-1998)
  • IBM high-end servers history + forecast (1990-1998)
  • Parallel Syplex performance ratings - Amdahl vs. IBM

If you're running a large data center, can you afford not to know things such as the data presented above?

Also, check out "Amdahl Boosts Its Millenniums," and "UNISYS Returns to Profitable Growth."

Volume XIV, No. 98-11
February 25, 1998

Editor: Bob Djurdjevic
Published by Annex Research

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