Intel Revs Up Xeon Chips, Touts Chip Sets

Intel rolled out two faster Xeon processors for two-way workstations and servers, and previewed upcoming chip sets.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Intel Corp. on Wednesday released two faster versions of its Xeon processors for two-way workstations and servers running at 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz, and also announced plans to introduce two new Xeon-based chip sets later this year that will offer quicker bus speeds and high-speed graphics support.

The processors were released a quarter earlier than originally planned, with the launch coming about two weeks after Intel released Pentium 4 chips designed for desktop PCs running at the same frequencies.

Intel has accelerated its introduction of faster processors in recent months as it seeks to spur sales and take advantage of its new 0.13-micron manufacturing process, which enables the company to produce faster and smaller chips that cost relatively less than products built using the previous 0.18-micron production method.

Designed for entry-level, general-purpose servers, the Xeons feature 512KB of Level 2 on-die memory and are priced at $562 for the 2.8GHz version and $433 for the 2.6GHz chip. Prices are based on 1,000-unit shipments.

Also today, Intels senior vice president Mike Fister gave a preview of two upcoming Xeon chip sets during his keynote at the Intel Developers Forum here.

Set for release during the fourth quarter, the chip sets, code-named Granite Bay and Placer, will feature 533MHz system buses and will support dual-channel double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAM as well as AGP 8X, a new high-speed graphics interface. Currently, Intels most advanced Xeon chip sets feature a 400MHz bus and support for AGP 4X.

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