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Mini BMC Cuts Cost of Remote Server Management

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A new "mini" baseboard management controller (mBMC) for low- and medium-end servers is expected to provide the key elements required for remote management, a function usually found only in high-end servers due to high cost. An affordable and easy-to-implement single-chip solution, the mBMC is the first of several controllers the company is developing to support version 1.5 of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specification. The PC87431 mBMC consists of a processor, internal sensors, flash and preprogrammed firmware to monitor a server's baseboard power supply and SCSI termination voltages, other system voltages, temperature sensors and fan failure indicators to provide remote manageability. The mBMC resides on the motherboard and combines remote manageability, remote alerting and remote BIOS checking/switching functionality as defined by the IPMI specification. The PC87431 comes in a 44-pin PLCC package and also in 44-pin LLP and 48-pin TSSOP packages for applications with space constraints. The PLCC costs $8.60 each/1,000, the LLP costs $8.50, and the TSSOP costs $8.55. Evaluation boards are also available. NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORP., Santa Clara, CA. (800) 272-9959.

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