Intel Corp. last week released a faster Xeon processor for one- and two-processor workstations and servers, as well as three new mobile Pentium 4 processors.
The 2.4GHz Xeon processor is only the second chip released by Intel to feature its hyperthreading technology, which enables a single chip to process program instructions like a virtual dual CPU, providing almost a 40 percent performance improvement per chip. The first chip to feature hyperthreading was a 2.2GHz Xeon released in February.
The 2.4GHz Xeon is targeted for use in workstations and a variety of server platforms designed to handle workloads such as Web hosting, data caching, security and streaming media applications.
Several computer makers will feature the Santa Clara, Calif., companys chip in new systems in the coming months, including Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM.
In addition to being the fastest Xeon yet, the chip is being produced using an advanced 0.13-micron manufacturing process on 300mm silicon wafers, a pairing of smaller die sizes and larger wafers that will enable Intel to produce processors at a lower cost per chip. The savings could prove vital, as Intel, like most major high-tech companies, has been hard hit by an ongoing slump in computer sales that began in late 2000.
The Xeon processor, which features 512KB of Level 2 on-die memory, is priced at $615 in 1,000-unit quantities.
Also last week, Intel released a 1.8GHz mobile Pentium 4 chip, its fastest laptop processor yet, targeted at the high end of the notebook market, and two slower mobile Pentium 4s, clocked at 1.5GHz and 1.4GHz, designed to be featured in systems priced as low at $1,300. Compared with Intels older Pentium III architecture, the Pentium 4 features design enhancements that boost the chips performance in handling multimedia and graphics-intensive programs, such as digital music, movies and photography.
According to Intel officials, the new mobile chips will be featured in more than 30 notebooks from many of the worlds leading computer makers, including Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu Ltd., Gateway Inc., HP, IBM, MicronPC LLC, NEC Corp. and Sony Corp.
The 1.8GHz, 1.5GHz and 1.4GHz mobile Pentium 4s are priced at $637, $268 and $198, respectively, based on 1,000-unit shipments.