Intel launches pumped up Xeons

Staff claims this new processor line are the most revolutionary server CPUs the company has launched, since entering the market almost 15 years ago with the Pentium Pro chip

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  April 1, 2009

Intel has introduced 17 new server processors in the region today, the flagship of which is the Xeon 5500 series. The new Xeons are said to offer better performance and energy efficiency and are also more intelligent and are thus able to adapt to energy usage needs.

“The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series is the foundation for the next decade of innovation,” said Intel’s Ferhad Patel, regional markets development director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “These chips showcase groundbreaking advances in performance, virtualisation and workload management, which will create the opportunities to solve the world’s most complex challenges and push the limits of science and technology.”

The 5500 series processor, formerly codenamed Nehalem-EP, offers technologies such as Intel Turbo Boost, Hyper-Threading, next generation Virtualization and integrated power gates. The new chips are based on the ‘Nehalem’ CPU architecture and are fabricated on the same 45nm manufacturing process used by Intel’s desktop-aimed ‘Penryn’ Core i7 chips.

The Xeon 5500 series is the successor to the older Xeon 5400 series, codenamed Harpertown. In addition to the aforementioned advancements the new processors also benefit from an integrated memory controller that is able to function with DDR3 SDRAM or FB-DIMMs. The new CPUs also uses a serial point-to-point interconnect, which replaces the traditional front side bus and is said to offer better performance.

The 5500 series is designed to function in dual CPU servers and is designed to function with the new Intel 5520 core-logic chipset. This chipset supports up to two processors and can work with up to eight memory modules. Current clock speeds for the 5500 series range from between 1.86GHz to 3.2GHz.

The Xeon processor 5500 series is being sold for between US $188 and $1600 in quantities of 1000. The chip giant also plans to launch Nehalem-Xeons designed for four-way (four CPUs per motherboard) servers by the fourth quarter of this year.

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