IBM is to unveil a new computer system architecture and chipset, which will form the basis of the next generation of the company's xSeries line of servers.

IBM plans to ship the first server based on these new technologies, a four-processor system called the xSeries 366 (x366), within the next few months.

Using technologies from IBM's mainframe and supercomputer businesses, IBM said that the new X3 architecture is designed to improve the performance of Intel's Xeon processors on servers with a large number of processors. It has been three years in development and is the latest generation of the Enterprise X-Architecture, which IBM first introduced in 2001.

The vendor has invested more than US$100 million in X3's development, the company said in a statement. IBM will use the architecture as the basis of future Xeon systems with four or more processors.

IBM will also introduce a new XA-64e chipset, code-named Hurricane, that has been designed for the X3 architecture. With these components, IBM will be able to build Xeon servers with as many as 32 processors, the company said.

The first of the X3 systems, the x366, will be a 4-way server based on an upcoming entry-level Xeon MP processor code-named Cranford. Both Cranford and the x366 are expected to ship within 90 days. Pricing for the x366 will be announced when the product starts shipping, IBM said.