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Leading chipmaker Intel Corp. has unwrapped some of its plans concerning the server and workstation processors and chipsets. The main headliners of Intel’s pedestal and rack server roadmap – Intel Xeon MP processor code-named Potomac and Intel’s dual-core chip code-named Smithfield – finally got their target clock-speeds and cache sizes from Intel’s official documents.

Intel Xeon MP Platform Gets 3.50+GHz Speeds, 8MB Caches

Intel’s Xeon processor family for multiprocessor (MP) applications will finally be updated in Q1 2005 with chips code-named Cranford that contain 1MB of L2 cache, but operate at 3.66GHz, much higher than today’s 3.0GHz. In server environments clock-speed does not necessarily mean performance crown, as server software is seriously dependant on cache size and from that perspective Intel’s Xeon MP 3.0GHz with 4MB L3 cache may be a better choice for certain types of server deployments. Still, the processors code-named Cranford are to be made using 90nm process technology, which may allow Intel Corp. to set a bit lower prices on such products compared to previously released Intel Xeon MP processors at launch.

In the second quarter Intel Corp. is projected to release its highly-anticipated Intel Xeon multiprocessing unit (MPU) code-named Potomac that is positioned as a high-end offering for MP servers. Potomac chips will operate at speeds of 3.50GHz or higher and contain up to 8MB of level-three cache in addition to 1MB of L2 cache. Potomac will also be produced using 90nm process technology.

Both Cranford and Potomac are expected to feature Enhanced Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) as well as Executed Disable Bit (EDB) security feature. The chips will operate using 667MHz Quad Pumped Bus and use Intel’s Twin Castle chipset.

Dual-Core Processors: For Workstations, Entry-Level Servers

As Intel previously said, it will not have dual-core processors to serve 2P or MP servers this year. The Corp.’s main offering for mainstream and performance 2-way servers will be Intel Xeon processors based on 90nm Irwindale core with 64-bit capability, Enhanced SpeedStep and Execute Disable Bit at clock-speeds of 3.60GHz in Q1 2005 and beyond in Q3 2005.

Still, the company will offer its dual-core 64-bit chip code-named Smithfield processors for workstations and 1P server markets. According to the roadmap, the Smithfield processor 3.20GHz – named x40 – will be available in Q3 2005. Intel Corp. will also offer Intel Pentium 4 processors 600-series with EM64T, EDB and EIST for 1P server apps.

Pricing information was not released. Actual server configurations to be determined by appropriate server makers.

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