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Xeon 5100: Intel's Comeback Chip

Posted by inet - 2006-06-29

Everybody is talking about Intel's new Xeon chips. Analysts bloggers and pundits of all sorts are saying the new Xeon represents a strong comeback move for Intel which has been criticized of late for falling behind in the innovation race with archrival AMD.
The new Xeon series announced on Monday is the latest from Intel promising a significant speed boost while still offering better energy efficiency over earlier Xeon processors. At companies running thousands of Xeon servers news of the series formerly codenamed Woodcrest is being well received.

Ultimately what the Xeon means is that the computers will be both cooler and faster said Martin Reynolds an analyst at Gartner.

While the initial round of chips are targeted at servers and highend workstations Intel will use the foundation technology called the Core microarchitecture to create a range of chips for mobile applications such as laptops.

Performance Boost

Company spokesperson Dan Snyder said the new Xeon series delivers a performance boost of some percent and a percent reduction in power consumption over earlier Xeon processors.

"The increase in energy efficiency is especially critical for large organizations that are scaling out their server systems and may use thousands of processors" he said.

Snyder explained that among the design technologies that form the foundation of the Core architecture there is an upgrade to the execution engine that will provide more instructions per processor cycle and an intelligent power capability that can cut power consumption by powering individual logic subsystems as they are needed.

Because every execution core is wider each can complete up to four instructions simultaneously for faster and more efficient data transfer. And the Advanced Smart Cache technology allows one of two processing units or cores to use the entire memory reservoir if necessary while the other is idle.

Manufacturers Sign On

Pat Gelsinger senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group noted that the Core microarchitecture is "a technical marvel that is driving a new era of power efficiency" without compromising on performance.

So far according to Intel more than server and workstation models built around the Xeon are slated to be created by more than manufacturers. Intel has priced the chips from $ to $ in unit quantities.

Shane Rau an analyst at IDC said that those who initially stand to gain the most from the new Xeon s are in corporate I.T. departments. Intel is emphasizing power Rau said. "That means less power consumption and heat dissipation."

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Hardware || intel ||

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