Intel sets the stage for a showdown with AMD's upcoming Barcelona, releasing a Xeon chip for high-end servers with multiple processors.
Intel claims that the six new Quad-Core Xeon 7300 series processors can deliver more than twice the performance and more than three times the performance per watt over the company's previous generation dual-core products.
The energy-efficient 7300 series includes frequencies up to 2.93GHz at 130 watts, several 80-watt processors and a 50-watt version optimized for four socket blades and high-density rack form factors with a frequency of 1.86GHz. The Intel 7300 chipset with Data Traffic Optimizations provides a balanced platform design with several new technologies that enhance data movement between the processors, memory and I/O connections. HP delivered a new blade world record for SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark with a result of 3,500 SD users on a HP ProLiant BL680c G5 blade server with four Quad-core Intel Xeon processor model E7340s running at 2.4 GHz.
"Intel Xeon-based multi-processor servers are the backbone of the enterprise," said Tom Kilroy, Intel vice president and co-general manager of the Digital Enterprise Group. "With the Xeon 7300 series, Intel is delivering new levels of performance and performance per watt, and driving the Intel Core microarchitecture into such innovative systems as four-socket, 16-core blades that use less energy than our older models. It's simply amazing."
The 7300 is part of the Caneland chip package, which also includes Intel's 7300 chip set, known as Clarksboro. The new chip set has four 1,066MHz interconnects that are linked to an individual processor, helping reduce latency between the processors and main memory.
Caneland is the last release expected from Intel before AMD announces the availability of its Barcelona server chips on Sept. 10. Barcelona is widely expected to offer significant performance increases over AMD's existing dual-core server chips, and should mean tighter competition with Intel in the server space.
New Levels of Virtualization and Scalability
In addition to twice the cores, the 7300 series and Intel 7300 chipset offer up to four times the memory capacity of Intel's previous MP platforms, enabling very large consolidation ratios that can reduce space, power and operation costs.
"With the introduction of the Xeon 7300, users will now be able to pool all of their Intel Core microarchitecture based server resources, whether they are single-, dual- or multi-processor based, into a dynamic virtual server infrastructure that allows live virtual machine migration that can improve usage models like failover, load balancing, disaster recovery, or server maintenance," Intel said.
Starting today, servers based on the Xeon 7300 series processors are expected to be announced by more than 50 system manufacturers, including Dell, Egenera, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hitachi, HP, IBM, NEC, Sun, Supermicro, and Unisys.
Pricing of these new quad-core processors depends on the speeds, features and amount ordered, and ranges from $856 to $2,301 in quantities of 1,000.
The 7300 will also be the last server chip announced by Intel, before its upcoming Penryn chips are made available later this year. Made using a 45-nanometer process that will allow more cache to be put on each chip, the first Penryn server chips are expected to be released in November.
Those chips are intended for use in single-processor and two-way servers. The Penryn server chip for multiple-processor servers is called Dunnington and will not be available until late 2008, according to Intel.