Intel's long-awaited Tulsa processor debuted Tuesday with the introduction of a new Xeon processor platform for multiprocessor server implementations that promises twice the performance and three times the performance-per-watt of the company's existing and struggling offerings for the market segment.
The multiprocessor server market has been a major weakness for Intel, with rival Advanced Micro Devices taking almost half of the market for x86 processors used in the four-way server segment, according to Gartner. Intel promises that Tulsa will help stem that tide, but the market will have to wait until next year for the introduction of the first devices to utilize the company's new Core architecture design for the multiprocessor segment.
"We had fallen behind on performance, and performance is critical in this segment," says Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of the server products group for Intel. "This clearly demonstrates we are back."
The Tulsa introduction concludes Intel "summer of servers," Skaugen says, as the leading microprocessor vendor has now overhauled its portfolio from top to bottom, including the Woodcrest platform for two-processor implementation introduction in June, and the first dual-core Itanium processors for the high-end RISC market added with the Montecito introduction last month.
Skaugen says the performance gains of Tulsa platform does not represent two steps forward and one step back. But the new platform is a reversal of its technology roadmap, representing perhaps the last significant new platform based on its older NetBurst architecture as the company transitions to the newer Core architecture based designs.