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Next-Gen Xeons Could Boost Performance By 3.5 Times

Servers based on Intel's next-generation architecture will increase performance per watt by up to 3.5 times over existing single-core Xeon processors, the company said Tuesday at its developer forum in San Francisco.

The architecture introduced Tuesday will combine the best of features found in two existing microarchitectures, said Paul Otellini, president and chief executive, and will "enable the continued delivery of increased performance without the power penalties we saw with the previous gigahertz approach" to chip improvements.

Processors based on the new architecture, which Intel didn't code-name, are expected to be available in the second half of 2006. Planned dual-core Xeon platforms include the Woodcrest for dual- and multiprocessor servers, dual-core Pentium processors for the Conroe platform in home and office PCs, and dual-core Pentium M processors for the Merom platform in mobile applications.

In addition, Intel plans to introduce four-core Xeons for the multiprocessor server market as part of the Whitefield platform in 2007.

"We will deliver a factor of 10 breakthroughs to a variety of platforms that can reduce energy consumption tenfold or bring 10 times the performance of today's products," Otellini said. For example, Intel plans to introduce a processor for "handtop" computing systems that will operate at 0.5 watts power consumption, well below the current 5-watt power consumption associated with its lowest-power mobile processors.

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