OEMs Give Thumbs Up to Intels New Architecture

Representatives for the top OEMs said the chip maker has made significant strides with its new Core Architecture.

SAN FRANCISCO—Server makers are giving kudos to Intel for advances made in the area of performance and energy efficiency in its new chip architecture, and are planning major product launches around the upcoming Woodcrest server processor due out in the third quarter.

In interviews here at the Intel Developer Forum during the week of March 6, representatives for the top OEMs said the chip maker has made significant strides with the new Core Architecture, which was designed to increase a processors performance through a host of new features without increasing the amount of power it consumes.

"Woodcrest and the whole Core Architecture is very strong from a performance aspect, and the performance-per-watt is a very good story," said Mark Potter, vice president of Hewlett-Packards BladeSystem unit.

"Were very much excited by what we see in Woodcrest."

Power and heat are growing concerns among data center administrators who are putting smaller servers with more powerful processors in more dense environments.

At this years Spring IDF, power efficiency and performance have been the key themes as officials outlined details of the new architecture.

/zimages/2/28571.gifTo read more about the new generation of Intel chips, click here.

Intel officials point to a host of features that are enabling them to bring to market chips that boost power but—in most cases—reduce power consumption.

Dual-core technology and the ability to execute four instructions in a single clock are among the top reasons, as are energy management features such as power gating, which will shut down parts of the chip that are not in use at a particular moment.

The results are chips that will help Intel address issues that are a growing concern among enterprise data center administrators and narrow the gap between their chips and those of rival Advanced Micro Devices, of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Woodcrest in particular will show strong improvements in efficiency and performance.

In his keynote address, Justin Rattner, an Intel Fellow and CTO, said the chip will offer up to an 80 percent performance improvement while reducing power consumption by 35 percent over the chip makers current 2.8GHz Xeon DP.

HPs Potter said the Palo Alto, Calif., company is particularly encouraged by Intels push in this area.

HP officials knew several years ago that power and heat were going to become problems in the data center, and chose to roll out a line of systems running AMDs Opteron chips in large part because they were so much better in addressing those issues than Intels lineup.

"We knew there was going to have to a change," Potter said. "HP launched a whole line of Opteron systems because we saw this coming."

Next Page: AMDs new capabilities.