The new chip raises the speed of Intel's Xeon processor MP line from 1.6 GHz to 2 GHz and its integrated Level 3 cache memory from 1 Mbyte to 2 Mbytes. Customers were concerned with the ability of the previous version of Xeon processor MP, introduced in February, to scale enough to effectively run four-way and eight-way servers. "The larger cache memory should lay those concerns to rest," says Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff.
Servers from Dell, HP, and IBM use the new Xeon MP.
"I'm very excited about the new technology," says Rod Carney, assistant VP of Huntington National Bank's enterprise infrastructure group, which manages 600 Hewlett-Packard ProLiant servers. The bank has plans to consolidate low-end ProLiant servers onto four-way and eight-way ProLiants. Carney says Intel's processor improvements make four-way and eight-way Intel-based servers feasible candidates for partitioning, a technology that's crucial to successful server consolidation.