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Intel Corp. has begun sampling of its processor code-named Jasper Forest that is aimed at data storage and communication equipment markets. The new chip features build-in RAID controller and should allow Intel to better compete for low-power storage and communications servers.

Intel’s Jasper Forest processor is based on Nehalem micro-architecture, support RAID 5 and RAID 6 models, comes with integrated memory controller as well as 16 PCI Express 2.0 lanes. The new processors are compatible with Intel 3400-series core-logic sets that are certified to support single-processor configurations. Single-core Jasper Forest will only consumer 23W, whereas quad-core version will have thermal design power of 85W.

"Nehalem cores are quite powerful, but customers still want to be able to offload storage functions to a core, especially when you get down into two-core and single core versions of processors, really simplifies the architecture," said Seth Bobroff, manager of Intel's server platform group for storage, reports Computerworld web-site.

Since the new processors are based on the Nehalem micro-architecture, their performance should be comparable with that of Intel Xeon 5500-series microprocessors, but due to high degree of integration, the new servers should be more power efficient. Besides, the chip has enhanced features that protect against data loss in case of power failure.

"We have removed a fairly large-footprint chip and saved power by integrated [the I/O hub] on to a single chip. The chips will provide similar performance to existing Nehalem-based Intel Xeon processors, but be more power efficient,” said Steve Smith, vice president digital enterprise group operations at Intel, reports IDG News Service.

Intel Jasper Forest chip will become available early in 2010. The chipmaker is already working with ten storage vendors and about 25 – 30 OEMs in general, according to Enterprise Storage Forum web-site.

Tags: Intel, Jasper Forest, 45nm

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