Intel today announced that it is shipping the XML Software Suite, a
set of libraries for Java and C++ that implement common XML functions
such as parsing, schema validation and language transformation. Based
on technology acquired with XML appliance maker Sarvega more than two
years ago, the suite aims to boost performance of application servers
and SOA middleware. Intel has previously used the Sarvega technology
as a way to drive demand for its chips, but this launch looks like an
aggressive move into software. It also signals a change in Intel's
target customers: Whereas Intel previously aimed its technology mostly
at OEMs, it now hopes to sell directly to enterprise customers too.
Although Intel recommends that customers use hardware based its own
Core microarchitecture, the suite will work with any 32- or 64-bit
x86 chips. Intel's own performance comparisons are against other
software, claiming improvement by a factor of two or better vs.
open-source XML libraries included with GNOME and Apache. The real
competitor is still specialist XML chipmaker Tarari, whose silicon
is used in hardware acceleration appliances from vendors including
Cisco Systems and Layer 7 Technologies. To a lesser extent, IBM plays
in the same market, building its own XML chips for its own appliances.
However, by selling to enterprises directly, Intel is also competing
with the appliance makers themselves, something that could cause
tensions with its own customers. According to Intel, the software's
main advantage over hardware appliances is a full implementation of
the JAXP (Java API for XML Processing) standard, allowing it to be
used alongside existing applications without rewriting. However,
this only applies to Java. There are no similar standards for C++.
And although the software is available for Windows as well as Linux,
it doesn't support.NET applications. More Information