Intel launches last single core Xeon

In an effort to regain some of the ground lost to AMD’s Opteron processor, Intel is planning a flurry of announcements over the coming weeks and months that will totally overhaul the Xeon range of server processors.

The company has now released its last version of the single core Xeon and promises that the first of the new generation dual core chips code-named ‘Paxville’ will be available ‘in the coming weeks’. The launch has been brought forward as the Paxville range was not due appear until next year.

In the meantime, Intel has released low voltage versions of the Xeon aimed at the blade server segment. The 64-bit Intel Xeon processor LV 3 GHz1 uses only 55W of power while the 64-bit Intel Xeon processor MV 3.20 GHz consumes only 90W.

Intel tops out the single core range with new 64-bit Intel Xeon processor with 2MB of L2 cache running at 3.80 GHz that is drop-in compatible with the previous Intel Xeon processor platforms and supports, DDR2-400 memory and PCI Express. Intel is also shipping a 64-bit Intel Xeon processor 2.80 GHz with 2MB L2 cache aimed at low-end servers for use in small and medium businesses.

In July, Mercury Research said that the Opteron’s server market share had risen to 11.2 per cent. Although this leaves Intel by far the dominant player, AMD has come from nowhere in a just a few years and has gained the backing of both HP and Sun.

Intel intends to claw back market share with a burst of activity surrounding the dual core Xeons over the next year or so. The company has already revealed that in early 2006, Intel will deliver another server platform, codenamed ‘Bensley’, comprising the ‘Dempsey’ dual-core Intel Xeon design and a chipset codenamed ‘Blackford’. Intel also plans a dual-core Intel Xeon processor-based workstation platform, codenamed ‘Glidewell’, also including the Dempsey processor, and a new chipset, optimised for workstations, codenamed ‘Greencreek’.

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