Intel Unveils Faster Xeons - InformationWeek

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Intel Unveils Faster Xeons

Chipmaker boosts speed to 3 GHz and doubles cache to improve performance.

Intel on Tuesday unveiled a faster version of its Xeon processor, and Unisys and Dell quickly followed by disclosing plans to ship servers based on the chip.

The new processors, which boost clock speed to 3 GHz from a previous high of 2.8 GHz and double on-chip cache memory to 4 Mbytes, will improve overall performance of systems by as much as 25%, the company says.

Intel has also revealed plans to introduce a version of its Xeon processor with 64-bit instructions in the second quarter.

The speedier Xeons helped Unisys win a systems-upgrade project with Thomson Financial, says Chander Khanna, VP of server platform marketing for Unisys.

Thomson has experienced a dramatic increase in online users of its services, going from 500 to 55,000 in the past year, says Jeremy Lehman, senior VP of technology for Thomson.

Thomson will consolidate around Unisys ES7000 servers, which utilize the higher-performance Xeons, Khanna says. "It's our job to deliver value for our customers so that they can see a reason why they should move to our platform, and this is a definable improvement," he says.

A Dell spokesman says the company began shipping new PowerEdge four-way servers with the increased-performance Xeons on Tuesday.

The new Xeons are drop-in compatible with previous Xeons, Khanna says. The new 3-GHz Xeon MP with 4 Mbytes of cache is listed by Intel as available for $3,692 each in quantities of 1,000.

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