Intel Trickles Out Dual-Core Servers

The chip giant has begun its transition to dual-core server hardware by handing out a few dual-core machines.

Intel Corp. says its chips are better together when it comes to servers.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chip giant has begun pitching new server platforms, which bundle processors such as its forthcoming dual-core Xeons, with other silicon bits and add special features such as virtualization, to businesses early.

As expected, the chip maker got the platform campaign started by beginning a program to seed servers based on its dual-core Xeon DP Bensly chip and Xeon MP Paxville processors to businesses.

Machines based on the chips, which will officially arrive in early 2006 emblazoned with new model numbers, will be delivered to thousands of potential customers for testing, a company executive said.

Intel, which lost ground to rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in server shipments during the second quarter according to Mercury Research Inc., is sending out the machines in advance in order to allow potential customers to evaluate the dual-core processor server platforms.

The effort, Intel hopes, will allow it to quickly win companies business.

The new servers "have already started trickling out," said Shannon Poulin, an enterprise marketing director in Intels server group. By the end of the year, "Were going to aggressively seed thousands of units or maybe tens of thousands. It gets customers there…and ready for the technology. It greases the skids, so to say."

Intel plans to shift its server lines to the dual-core processor/platform strategy quickly in 2006.

It will follow the Xeon DP and MP chips, which will be dubbed with 5000 series model numbers and 7000 series numbers, respectively, with less power hungry dual-core Xeon chips for rack-mount machines and server blades.

During the first half of 2006, the chip maker will roll out a lower voltage version of Dempsey for rack-mount servers.

Intel will also add Sossaman, a dual-core chip based on its forthcoming Yonah mobile-processor, for blade servers.

Sossaman, a 32-bit processor that will also come out in the first half of 2006, will consume about 31 watts of power. Intels current low-power "Irwindale" Xeon chip for blades consumes about 55 watts.

Next Page: Emphasizing special features.