Intel on Track to Deliver 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processors

In a call with analysts, the company said it is still prepared to launch several new technologies, including 45-nanometer dual-core chips for servers, by later in 2007.

In a call with analysts this week, Intel officials said the company would deliver a 3.0GHz version of its quad-core "Clovertown" processor for servers, as well as deliver dual-core Xeon chips using the companys 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

In the call with analysts on Feb. 21, executives with the Santa Clara, Calif., company added that the company would also introduce a low-watt, quad-core server chip in the coming weeks. A specific date for this chip, which will have a 50-watt thermal design, has not been announced.

"We will introduce a low power, quad-core Xeon in the coming weeks," a spokesperson for Intel told eWEEK in a follow-up interview.

Since introducing its quad-core processors in November to complement its dual-core Xeon processors, Intel has been able to put additional pressure on its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices.

According to a recent report by Mercury Research, Intel has been able to make up some ground in the server market but lost share to AMD in the overall x86 market.

By offering a mix of higher performing and low-watt processors, Intel is hoping to further take advantage of its first-to-market strategy with quad-core processors. In the meantime, AMD will wait until later this year to introduce its quad-core Opteron processors, called "Barcelona."

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about AMDs recent price drop in some of its Opteron processors.

"We believe INTC [Intel] will continue to press its product advantage in the server segment which should help the companys blended ASPs [average selling price] and grow revenue share," according to a Deutsche Bank research paper released after the analyst meeting.

When Intel first released its quad-core Xeon 5300 series processors on Nov. 14, the chips ranged in clock speed between 1.6GHz to 2.66GHz. Since that time, the company has rolled out additional quad-core chips for servers and high-end PCs, but this new model will be the first to offer a performance clock speed of 3.0GHz.

In addition, the company also plans to introduce a quad-core chip with a 50-watt power envelope. The first set of Xeon 5300 processors had thermal envelops as high as 130 watts and as low as 80 watts.

Intel also said that it is on schedule to produce a new Xeon 5000 series chip set for HPC (high-performance computing) and workstation. This chip set, which is scheduled for release in the second half of this year, will include a 1600MHz FSB (front side bus)—current models offer a 1333MHz FSB—and a larger snoop filter, which reduce processor latency and minimize system bus congestion.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intel and AMD making temporary gains in the chip market.

There are also plans to unveil Caneland, a new Xeon MP platform, in the third quarter of this year.

Finally, Intel said it would offer some Xeon dual-core processors that are produced using 45-nanometer technology. The company has already announced that its "Penryn" family of processors would be released in the second half of this year. However, Intel did not previously announce that its servers ship would be part of this shift to 45-nanometer.

The company plans on opening three, 45-nanometer fabs, which will be added to the companys existing 65-nanometer fab facilities. All of these facilities will be capable of using 300-mm wafers.

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