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At Long Last, Dual-Core Xeon Chips

Well, it's happened: Intel has decided to go ahead and bump up the release of dual-core Xeon processors. Looks like Intel will begin delivering its first Xeon chips with the technology in the fourth quarter. The company is being guarded about what it's saying in advance of its Intel Developer forum next week, but sources are saying that the devices will be all-encompassing. That means to watch for products that will be developed from the architecture are likely to be diverse in terms of functionality and platforms.

I'm certain many of you greeted this news with: "Well, it's about time!" All I can say is: It must hurt when the competition kicks you in the head. Maybe it even slows you down for a while. But AMD's success with dual-core Opteron server processors has served as a wake up call to Intel. AMD has had so much success with the dual-core chip, in fact, that Lehman Brothers recently raised its rating on AMD, noting the company's margins will likely improve during the next 18 months because of the "solid execution" of its processor business.

True, Intel previously released dual-core versions of its Pentium processor line. But the Xeon announcement will really put the company into the server game. Let's see how much energy efficiency is improved and how well the company's "embedded IT" is implemented. And, oh yes, how are you doing with integrating four processing cores on one chip?

Some of us are never satisfied.

Technology writer Jennifer Bosavage is filling in this week for a vacationing Don St. John. Don will be back next week.