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Tuesday, March 07, 2006, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Intel announces new Xeon processors, demos quad-core chip

Presenting at its developer forum on Tuesday, Intel Corp. announced that it will ship three new dual-core processors for servers and workstations in 2006 and also gave developers their first public view of a running quad-core processor designed for dual-processor servers.

True to expectations, company vice president Pat Gelsinger announced that "Sossaman," an ultra–low–power server processor designed for server blades, storage devices and telecommunications equipment, will begin volume shipments next week. He also stated that "Dempsey" — the first server processor based on the company's "Bensley" Xeon–based platform — is on track to ship by the end of the month.

"2006 marks a year of transitions for Intel — a transition to a new process technology and a powerful new microarchitecture, along with the delivery of new platforms solving tough problems for our customers," said Gelsinger. "This year we have a line–up of enterprise platforms and technologies that will inspire developers with opportunities and excite IT managers with critical capabilities to manage costs and run their business."

In the third quarter of 2006, Gelsinger said Intel will update the Bensley platform with "Woodcrest," a processor that will further reduce power consumption by 35 percent while delivering greater than 80 percent improvement in computing performance.

The Intel exec also gave developers their first public view of a running quad-core processor, codenamed "Clovertown," for dual–processor servers. This chip is socket -compatible with the Bensley platform and is slated to ship in early 2007. It will deliver increased processing capacity and is well–suited for multi–threaded applications, such as those used in databases, financial services and supply–chain management.

Additionally, Intel offered a glimpse at its next generation Virtualization Technology for enterprise servers. The technology, which the company began to ship with processors last year, helps IT organizations streamline their infrastructure, optimize utilization, reduce total costs and improve business agility.

The next generation of virtualization, Intel Virtualization for Directed I/O, will include I/O virtualization to assign I/O devices to virtual machines, providing a more robust, higher performance platform for virtualized systems, the company said.