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In a bid to offer server customers a processor that consume as little energy as possible, but still delivers relatively high performance, Intel Corp. has unveiled its new low-voltage Xeon processor, which was earlier known under Sossaman code-name. The new chip utilizes Intel Core Duo micro-architecture and has two processing engines.

Power consumption of the new low-voltage dual-core Intel Xeon processor 2.0GHz is about 31W, inline with the thermal guideline for the single-core Intel Xeon processors with lowered power consumption. By contrast, current dual-core Xeon DP chips at 2.80GHz consume up to 135W in typical conditions.

The dual-core low-voltage Intel Xeon processors are based on the dual-core Yonah micro-architecture – which is marketed under Core Duo trademark – and is compatible with current Intel Xeon DP chipsets, such as Intel E7520. Still due to different form-factor, the new Xeon DP chips will require separate infrastructure. One of the differences between the Xeon processors based in the Netburst and Core Duo architectures is that the latter do not support 64-bit extensions.

According to performance slides allegedly demonstrated by Supermicro at a Japanese event, dual-processor setup running two Intel Xeon DP processors code-named Sossaman at 2.0GHz was about 20% faster compared to a system featuring two Intel Xeon 3.60GHz processors with 1MB L2 cache, but was outperformed by about 27% by 2-way server with Intel dual-core Xeon 2.80GHz in Whetstone floating point unit (FPU) benchmark. Still, Sossaman chips seem to be slightly better performers when it comes to arithmetic logic unit (ALU) performance.

The dual–core Intel Xeon processor LV 2.0GHz and 1.66GHz are available from Intel now for $423 and $209 per unit, respectively, in 1000–unit quantities.

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