OEMs Ramp Up for Intels Dual-Core Xeon Chips

Delivery date for new processors moved up.

Systems makers are wasting no time responding to Intel Corp.s plans to accelerate the delivery of dual-core Xeon processors, saying they will have servers ready to go when the chips are available.

Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., announced last week that it is bringing its dual-core Xeons for dual-processor and multiprocessor systems to the market later this year, ahead of its initial time frame of early next year. Officials credited the work of Intel engineers for the accelerated timetable. OEMs said they are pleased with the announcement, as it will mean getting Intel-based dual-core systems into the hands of customers more quickly.

"IBM anxiously awaits the arrival of Intels first-generation 64-bit Xeon MP, dual-core processors," said Jay Bretzmann, director of IBMs xSeries high-performance division, based in Armonk, N.Y. "X3 Architecture servers were designed from a chip set, power and thermal capacity to support these processors."

IBMs X3 Architecture, introduced in February, is the next generation of its Intel-based xSeries servers. Included in the rollout is a chip set code-named Hurricane, designed to bring mainframe technologies to the volume systems space.

Intel initially had scheduled its dual-core "Paxville" Xeon MP chip, for multiprocessor systems, and "Paxville DP," for dual-chip servers, for early next year. However, officials said last week that the company will bring these chips to market later this year and will follow them in the first quarter with the next family of dual-core Xeon platforms, code-named Bensley, for workstations.

The chips will offer performance boosts of 50 to 60 percent and will come with features such as Demand-Based Switching for power management and Execute Disable Bit for enhanced security.

Officials with both Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. said they intend to quickly roll out systems armed with the Paxville chips once they become available. Intels accelerated schedule is good news for Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, which, unlike IBM and HP, has no line of systems based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s dual-core Opteron chip to fall back on while awaiting Intels technology.

Intels dual-core road map

  • April Introduced dual-core feature with Pentium Extreme Edition
  • May Rolled out Pentium D chip
  • Late 2005 Will launch dual-core Xeon processors, code-named Paxville and Paxville DP; will start shipping "Montecito," dual-core version of 64-bit Itanium chip
  • Q1 2006 Will ship next-generation dual-core Xeons, code-named Bensley, for workstations