Revved-Up Itaniums, Xeons to Headline IDF - Page 2

: High-End Workhorse">

Xeon: High-End Workhorse

The picture is far different for Intels 32-bit Xeon line, which has gained widespread acceptance as the workhorse for high-end workstations and servers.

Intels latest Xeon innovation seeks to build on that momentum. First unveiled last year, a technology called hyperthreading will boost the performance of future Xeon chips up to 40 percent.

Overall, hyperthreading allows a single processor to handle two separate code streams, or threads, concurrently. In effect, it creates two logical processors inside a single physical processor. The logical processors share the core physical resources of the chip, such as the execution engine, caches and the system bus interface, but each logical processor can be directed to execute a specific thread independently.

The first Xeon chips to feature the technology are scheduled to be released this quarter, according to Intel sources.

For those with a need for speed, sources said Intel is looking to demonstrate a Pentium 4 processor running at 5GHz. Currently, the fastest Pentiums on the market run at 2.2GHz. At last years forum, the chip maker showed a P4 running at 3.5GHz.

While such blazing demonstrations underscore the performance potential of the Pentium 4 architecture, customers will likely have to wait two years or more before they can get their hands on a 5GHz chip. Based on Intels current road maps, the Pentium 4 line will exit the year at 2.8GHz, with a 3GHz version set for release in early 2003.

Intel will also outline speeds and feeds for upcoming desktop Celerons and mobile Pentium 4s and Pentium IIIs.