NEC To Supply Hardware Platform For Bull

December 8, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Tokyo, JAPAN — BULL S.A. and NEC corporation announced an agreement whereby NEC will supply Bull on an OEM basis with the 16-way hardware platform (code named Azusa), which it has developed using the intel itanium architecture. Bull will integrate the Azusa platform with the AIX 5l operating system and market it worldwide as part of its range of enterprise servers.

NEC and Bull intend to secure their technical leadership in the Intel Itanium architecture market by combining the strengths of both companies.

NEC has expertise in high performance and high reliability technologies based on its mainframe and supercomputer development experience. NEC has been strategically focusing on planning and marketing server products using the Intel Itanium architecture as it sees that the Intel Itanium processors will provide the mainstream for future server platforms due to projected superior performance and price competitiveness.

Bull has a long experience in developing enterprise systems and enterprise-class operating system software for both mainframes and open systems, including a long-term contribution to the AIX operating system with scalability and workload management features. Notably Bull is the first vendor to have successfully ported and run AIX5L on a 16-way Itanium-based platform. Bull is also actively assisting ISVs to transition their applications to the Intel Itanium architecture in three main 64-bit operating environments: AIX5L, 64-bit Windows 2000, and 64-bit Linux.

This agreement will enable Bull to expand its offer with new Itanium-based servers, running aix5l, 64-bit windows 2000, and 64-bit Linux, thereby offering customers a widened choice of scalability, robustness and operating environment and access to a wider set of application solutions.

The innovative azusa server employs a NEC developed chip set, which provides optimum performance for 16-way itanium-based servers. Azusa is the world’s leading 16-way Itanium-based server and is the first with proven capabilities to scale beyond four Intel Itanium processors.

“Our experience of porting AIX5L to the AzusA platform has been very positive regarding both its quality and performance and the level of cooperation we have had with NEC,” said Michel Guillemet, vice-president of server R&D, Bull. “This is a significant first step for Bull in implementing its program of developing and marketing the next generations of advanced large-scale servers based on the Intel Itanium architecture.”

“With NEC’s server technology and Bull’s enterprise-class operating system technology, both companies can now drive further their Intel Itanium architecture strategy to expand their leadership in the forthcoming Itanium-based server market.” said Tadao Kondo, Vice President and Executive General Manager of 1st Computers Operation Unit of NEC Solutions, an in-house company of NEC Corporation. “With Bull’s distribution to its customer base worldwide, we expect shipments of NEC’s AzusA server to expand into the global market.”

Bull and NEC have had a strong industrial alliance since 1984, principally in the area of large-scale mainframes. The alliance has included a series of very important reciprocal OEM supply agreements, cross license arrangements and related technology transfers. With this latest agreement, both parties aim to further expand their alliance in the area of enterprise servers, and to acquire a higher portion of the upcoming Itanium-based server market.

NEC Corporation is a leading provider of Internet solutions, dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of its customers in the key computer, network and electron device fields through its three market-focused in-house companies: NEC Solutions, NEC Networks and NEC Electron Devices. NEC Corporation, with its in-house companies, employs more than 150,000 people worldwide and saw net sales of 4,991 billion Yen (approx. US$48 billion) in fiscal year 1999-2000. For further information, please visit the NEC home page at: http://www.nec-global.com .

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