Intel Offers Fifth Quad-Core Processor

The company says the new chip is part of its Xeon 5300 family for servers, and Intel also plans to introduce two other quad-core chips in early 2007.

Intel is offering OEMs a fifth quad-core processor earlier than expected.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company announced Dec. 11 that it is has started shipping a fifth chip that is part of its Xeon 5300 family of quad-core processors. The company officially introduced its first quad-core offerings on Nov. 14.

Intel had planned to introduce this particular processor in February 2007, but increased demand by OEMs led the company to roll the chip out early than expected, an Intel spokesperson told eWEEK.

The latest Xeon 5300 processor runs at a speed of 2.0GHz. The chip offers 1333MHz per second FSB (Front Side Bus) architecture, an 8MB L2 cache and a TDP--an Intel term that refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate—of 80 watts. The price is set at $690 per 1,000 units shipped.

In addition, Intel also announced that it will unveil two other quad-core Xeon processors for servers in 2007. The first chip is a low-voltage chip for ultra-dense deployments and a TDP of 50 watts. The second chip is designed for single-socket workstations and servers.

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These two new quad-core chips will be shipped out in the first quarter of 2007, the company said.

The new server chips that Intel introduced in November were all built on a 65-nanomater manufacturing process and offered 1.5 times the performance of the companys dual-core chips and four times the performance power of a single-core processor.

The original four chips that were introduced offered speeds ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.66GHz and prices from $455 to $1,172 per 1,000 units shipped. Intel also announced a client quad-core processor—the Core 2 Extreme quad-core QX6700—for high-end systems.

By the time that Intel announced its new processors, OEMs such as IBM, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Verari Systems had all announced that they would start introducing products with the new quad-core chips.

The announcement also helped Intel beat rival Advanced Micro Devices to the punch by offering its quad-core first.

In the past few weeks, AMD had pushed back by offering analysts a demonstration of its quad-core processor and announcing that it had started making some of its dual-core processors using a 65-nanometer manufacturing process.

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