Intel Unveils 50-Watt Quad-core Chips

The new additions to Intel's Xeon 5300 line offer a 60 percent decrease in power use from earlier chips. The company's quad-core lineup will later include chips with clock speeds of 3.0GHz and others that offer 1600MHz FSB.

Once again, Intel is ramping up its quad-core lineup.

This time, the worlds largest chip maker is scheduled to unveil a pair of Xeon quad-core processors with 50-watt thermal envelopes. This represents a 60 percent decrease in power use from early chips that had 120 thermal watt envelopes and a 38 percent drop from 80-watt models.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company will officially unveil these two new "Clovertown" quad-core processors on March 12.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intels short-term plans for its dual- and quad-core chips.

In a call with financial analysts on Feb. 22, Intel officials said the company would offer these low-watt, quad-core models as part of its short-term road map. Later in 2007, the company plans on rolling out a 3.0GHz version of its quad-core chip, as well as processors that include a 1600MHz FSB (front side bus).

Later, the company will also produce quad-core chips that use its 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

Since introducing its quad-core processors in November, Intel has steadily increased the number of new models for x86 servers, workstations and high-end computers. The company now offers a total of 11 quad-core processors.

Intel was the first of the two major processor makers to introduce quad-core chips. Advanced Micro Devices, Intels main rival, will not introduce its quad-core Opteron chips, dubbed "Barcelona," until later in 2007.

In the past few months, Intel has pushed its first-to-market advantage. The results, so far, have been mixed.

A Jan. 31 report by Mercury Research showed that Intel has been able to make up some ground in the server market. However, the company lost market share in the x86 space to AMD during 2006, although the price war with Intel has also taken a toll on AMDs bottom line. On March 5, the company warned investors that its first-quarter revenue would fall short of the $1.6 to $1.7 billion it had projected in January.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about the latest chapter in the lawsuit between AMD and Intel.

Intels two new 50-watt processors, the Xeon L5320 and the L5310, offer clock speeds of 1.86GHz and 1.6GHz, respectively. Both chips also have a total of 8MB of Level 2 cache and use a 1066MHz FSB. The two chips will work with Intels Bensley server platform and have been designed to be "drop-in" compatible with existing dual- and quad-core Xeon processors.

The Xeon L5320 processor is priced at $519 per 1,000 units shipped, while the Xeon L5310 is priced at $455 per 1,000 units shipped.

In a statement, Intel said a number of vendors will start offering these chips, including Acer, Dell, Digital Henge, Fujitsu-Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, HCL Enterprise, IBM, Rackable Systems, Samsung, Verari Systems and Wipro Technologies.

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