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Intel Demos Dual-Core Xeons

Moving aggressively ahead with its plans to field a full range of dual-core microprocessors, Intel is demoing two working servers running upcoming dual-core implementations of Xeon.

Moving aggressively ahead with its plans to field a full range of dual core microprocessors, Intel has demonstrated two upcoming Xeon server platforms with the new devices.

At its Intel Spring Analyst meeting in New York on Thursday, Abhi Talwalkar, general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprises Group showed off two working servers running upcoming dual-core implementations of Xeon code-named Dempsey and Paxville, respectively.

Dempsey is part of a dual-core server platform called Bensley, which features Intel's Hyperthreading technology along with its new high-speed I/O acceleration channel. "We will ship thousands of seed systems to OEMs and the ISV community, in the second half of this year," Talwalkar said in an interview after the event. The platform will officially launch during 2006, he added.

The Paxville dual-core part can be fitted into existing motherboards made for single-core Xeon processors. All that's required to get the CPU up and running is a BIOS update.

"This processor just arrived in terms of silicon fairly recently," Talwalkar said. "We're going to be sampling to OEMs so they can start their qualification cycles. Remember, this processor drops into systems that are shipping today, so it'll take much less time to get them running than if you were building brand new systems. We'll ship seed systems to the marketplace in the second half of this year. We'll have an OEM ramp-up in early 2006."

Additional details about the company's broader dual-core roadmap came to light at the meeting during the presentation by Intel president Paul Otellini.

"We've added to our [roadmap] since our Intel Developer Forum," Otellini told the audience. "[There are] three new products that we haven't talked about before: Conroe, which is a second-generation desktop dual-core product; Merom, which is a second-generation notebook dual-core product; and Woodcrest, which is a second-generation Xeon dual-core product.

"I'd also point out that Whitefield and Tukwila in our Itanium line are our first multi-core products, meaning more than two cores on the die, and we will ship those in 2007," Otellini added.

Otellini pegged the total number of dual-core efforts underway at Intel at 17. Two desktop Pentium parts have already begun shipping. Fifteen other processors, encompassing a mix of desktop, server, and mobile CPUs, are on the way. "We have more than half the units in house, running, and we're very comfortable that we can bring those out in high volume," Otellini said.

On the mobile front, Intel's highest-profile project is Yonah, which was will be available sometime in 2006. Yonah is part of what Intel is calling its Napa mobile platform, which also includes a core-logic chipset code-named Calistoga and a wireless LAN chip called Golan.

As for competitor AMD, it's planning two upcoming lines of low-power, dual-core mobile processors. The company has also begun shipping dual-core versions of its Opteron server processor and dual-core desktop Athlon 64 X2 parts.

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