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Intel Server Road Map Emphasizes Performance Per Watt

When it comes to chips in servers, clock speeds are no longer the important measurement. According to Intel, the leading maker of chips for PCs and servers, the key criterion is performance per watt and the amount of heat a chip generates. The chipmaking company on Thursday unveiled a server microprocessor road map and a new naming nomenclature that divides its portfolio in three distinct performance strata, including a Xeon that uses only 31 watts, planned for 2006.

In addition, 2006 will bring a full-scale migration to dual-core processors, with Intel projecting that 85% of all server processors shipped by the end of that year will be dual core, as well as 70% of all desktop and mobile processors.

Intel is establishing four lines for its server processors: the 9000 series, which will include all Itanium 2 devices; the 7000 series, which includes the current Xeon MP line targeted at multiprocessor systems; the 5000 series for Xeon processor targeted at single and dual socket systems; and the 3000 series for chipsets.

"The higher number will represent more value to the end customers, and we think this type of numbering scheme will help simplify things as we go to dual-core devices and add even larger caches," says Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's server platforms group.

The new numbered lines are similar to what Intel has already done with its Pentium processor line for the desktop and mobile markets, and what rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has done in its desktop, mobile, and server markets.

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