Pushing server and workstation performance up yet another notch, Intel's 3.6-GHz Xeon processor lets designers rapidly implement single- and dual-processor systems. It features an 800-MHz system bus and 1-Mbyte L2 cache, and it is supported by the E7525 motherboard chip set.
This workstation-optimized chip set supports PCI Express I/O and a 16-channel PCI Express graphics channel for high throughput and DDR2-400 system memory. It also supports the 800-MHz system bus to handle high-bandwidth demands. Additionally, the processor incorporates the new extended 64-bit memory-addressing capability, the streaming SIMD instruction extensions (SSE3), and an enhanced version of the hyperthreading technology. These enhancements improve application flexibility and CPU throughput. They expand the memory-address range to handle larger databases as well.
Later this quarter, Intel will release two additional chip sets that support server systems, the E7520 and E7320, and an I/O processor, the IOP332. The chip sets incorporate power-management technology that consists of demand-based switching with enhanced Speed-Step technology to help minimize power consumption. With DBS and SpeedStep, servers can reduce average power by close to 25%, while the use of DDR2-400 results in about a 30% to 40% lower memory power consumption than DDR1-based memories.
The E7520 chip set supports three PCI Express x8 interfaces, while the E7320 chip set has a single x8 PCI Express interface. The IOP332 includes intelligent RAID support, and it can reduce rebuild times in RAID configurations. Both chip sets include improved reliability and serviceability features, including error-checking and correction; x4 SDDC, DIMM sparing, scrubbing, and mirroring; PCI Express hot swap; and MCH SMBus hooks into third-party BMCs and BIOS solutions.
With an 800-MHz system bus, the Xeon processor is available in several speeds—2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, and 3.6 GHz. The CPUs cost $209, $316, $455, $690, and $851 each in lots of 1000, respectively. In similar quantities, the E7525 chip set sells for $100. The chip set includes the E7525 MCH, the 82801ER I/O controller hub, and the 6700PXH PCI-X hub.