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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Intel Launches 6-core Processor For Data Centers

Intel today launched the Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series. The new processors deliver two new security features -- Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) -- that enable faster encryption and decryption performance.

These are also the first server and workstation chips based on the new Intel 32nm logic technology, which uses Intel's second-generation high-k metal gate transistors to increase speed and decrease energy consumption. The Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series supports up to six cores per processor and delivers up to 60 percent greater performance than the 45nm Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. In addition, data centers can replace 15 single-core servers with a single new one, and achieve a return on their investment in as little as 5 months, Intel claims.

Data centers will also benefit from the power efficiency of the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series. A two-socket server using the new low-voltage Intel Xeon processor L5640 can deliver the same performance as a server using the previous generation's champion; the Intel Xeon processors X5570 series, but with up to 30 percent lower platform power.

The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series includes Intel AES-NI, a new set of instructions first introduced with the new 2010 Intel Core processor family. These instructions accelerate AES performance to enable faster data encryption and decryption for a wide range of applications such as database encryption features, full disk encryption and secure internet transactions.

Intel TXT will provide added security that cloud environments have been waiting for by enabling a more secure platform launch environment, along with providing more protection for applications that move between virtualized servers. Hardware-based capabilities integrated into the processor shield against malicious software to allow important applications and data to run more securely in a virtualized environment.

The security of the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series is matched by performance and energy efficiency. Technologies such as Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology and improved Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) adjust to the performance requirements of users, enhance multitasking and increase the manageability of consolidated IT environments.

The frequency-optimized quad-core version of the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series peaks at 3.46 GHz with a TDP of 130 watts, while the six-core version reaches 3.33 GHz with a TDP of 130 watts. Advanced six-core versions will top out at 2.93 GHz and TDP of 95 watts, and the standard quad-core processor will reach 2.66 GHz at 80 watts. Low voltage versions of the chip will have TDPs as low as 60 watts and 40 watts and feature six and four cores respectively.

Intel also announced the availability of the Intel Xeon processor L3406 series. Targeted for use in the single processor micro server segment, the Intel Xeon processor L3406 series has a TDP of only 30 watts.

New Embedded Processors

In addition to enterprise-class processors, Intel launched today three unique processors for the embedded computing segment, including the first six-core processors, the Intel Xeon E5645 and L5638, the quad-core L5618 and E5620 processors. These processors, featuring 7-year lifecycle support, are built for thermally constrained communications environments, and are expected to route applications more quickly and efficiently between connected devices.

Today Intel also officially announced availability of the new Intel Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition, the company's first 32nm, six-core processor with 12 computing threads for client applications. The new Intel Core i7-980X is drop-in compatible with most existing Intel X58 Express chipset-based motherboards. Running at 3.33 GHz, the Intel Core i7-980X is overclocking-enabled to provide flexibility to advanced users who want to adjust their speed settings, and has 12MB of Intel Smart Cache ? 50 percent more than the current Intel flagship desktop processor.

Starting today and continuing over the next 45 days, server and workstation systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series are expected to be announced by a variety of system manufacturers around the world, including Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Oracle.

The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series ranges in price from $387 to $1,663 in quantities of 1,000. The E5645, L5638 and L5618 embedded processors are priced at $958, $958 and $530, respectively, in quantities of 1,000. The Intel Core i7-980X is priced at $999 in 1000-unit quantities. To facilitate reseller transition to this new processor series, all currently shipping Intel Server Boards and Systems that support the previous-generation Intel Xeon processor 5500 series also support the Intel Xeon processor 5600 Series.

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