Emphasizing Special Features

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2005-07-28 Print this article Print

Yet, despite the numerous new processors coming, there will be little mention of their clock-speeds or cache sizes from Intel. The chip maker will focus instead on its platforms features, going forward. "We used to go in and say, What kind of technology are you interested in? What kind of server do you want? Now were saying, Whats the problem you want to solve?" Poulin said. "Youll see us focus more on the things like management technology, virtualization and fully buffered DIMMS" or dual inline memory modules.
The change will have Intel pitching the platforms and emphasizing their special features, including hardware-based virtualization support and input/output acceleration, versus selling only chips.
Virtualization, whose main elements are part of the processors, will allow the servers to be partitioned to run different jobs simultaneously. The Intel I/O Acceleration Technology, which will speed up certain high-priority operations such as processing TCP/IP, will require the processor, chip set and Ethernet controller from Intel. The platforms will also include Foxton Technology, which helps dynamically regulate processors power consumption, and the cache error checking feature dubbed Pellston Technology, in addition to supporting Intels Active Management Technology. IAMT is a hardware management engine that works with consoles such as Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter. Its Xeon MP chip platform, which includes the Paxville chip, is dubbed Truland. Bensly is its name for the Xeon DP platform, based around Dempsy. Despite the fact that thousands of the platforms will go out to customers over the course of the rest of the year, they wont go on sale in large numbers for several more months. That gives AMD, which gained ground in the second quarter, at least some advantage until early 2006. AMDs dual-core Opteron server chip came out in April. The only dual-core processor servers available based on Intel hardware are small and medium business-oriented machines that use its Pentium D and E7230 chip set. Click here to read more about Intel targeting the low-end and midrange segments. But Intel doesnt appear worried, given that companies generally take much longer to adopt new servers than they do to move to new desktop or notebook technology. The critical nature of the jobs most companies use servers for means they are tested for a period of time before getting rolled them out. Intel believes that the seeding program will help meet companies needs for testing allowing them to buy machines, if they choose, as soon as the new dual-core Xeons hit mass production in 2006. Poulin declined to comment directly on AMDs second quarter progress. Instead, he emphasized Intels plans to quickly transition to dual-core server chips. The company believes that by the end of 2006, 85 percent of the server platforms it ships will use dual-core processors, Poulin said. "Were going to aggressively ramp our dual-core [processor] from top to bottom," he said. Versus AMD, "We think that our fab [manufacturing plant] capacity gives us an advantage when you talk about [manufacturing] dual core," he said. "Its and advantage when it comes to volume." Intel will emblazon Montecito, its dual-core Itanium 2 chip, with 9000 series model numbers. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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