Fujitsu has released two new servers offering mainframe features to both Windows and Linux users.

More than two years in development, the systems, the PrimeQuest 440 and 480, are Fujitsu's first attempt at high-end systems with Intel's Itanium 2 chip.

"The PrimeQuest is the next generation of mainframe. However this mainframe is different from the current legacy mainframes," said Fujitsu VP Chiaki Ito. Unlike Fujitsu's current mainframe products, the PrimeQuest will be built with standard technologies from Intel, Microsoft and Red Hat.

When the new servers ship in June, they will only have Red Hat's Linux but support for Novell's Suse Linux and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition will come in September.

The servers are designed to support as many as 32 processors. When Intel launches its first dual-core Itanium processor later in the year, the 32-processor systems will support as many as 64 processing engines.

The PrimeQuest 480 is a 32-processor system with as much as 512GB of memory. The PrimeQuest 440 will house up to 16 processors and 256GB. PrimeQuest will eventually support as much as 1TB of memory. Both systems will come with either the 1.6 GHz or 1.5 GHz version of Intel's "Madison 9M" Itanium 2 processors.

By bringing mainframe-class features to Windows and Linux customers, Fujitsu hopes to establish a niche for itself in the enterprise IT market. Fujitsu reckons it will sell more than 10,000 PrimeQuest units in the next three years - about US$2 billion in revenue.

Pricing has not been disclosed.