Intel speeds up Xeon for entry-level servers

Intel Corp. bumped up the speeds Tuesday on its Xeon processor for low-end servers and workstations, releasing the first chip in that line built with the company's most advanced manufacturing process.

The new 2.4GHz Xeon processor should ship in systems from Dell Computer Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and others over the next few months, Intel said in a statement. The chip comes with 512K bytes of level 2 cache and is the first Xeon built on Intel's .13 micron manufacturing process that makes it possible to produce more chips per wafer. Intel already offers a Xeon running at up to 2.2GHz.

The new chip is designed for workstations and low-end servers with one or two processors, the company said in the statement. Such servers are typically used for basic tasks such as caching and Web serving.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, has dominated the market for low-end servers, but could face more competition as Sun Microsystems Inc. prepares to launch servers with the Linux operating system with chips based on Intel's x86 architecture. In addition, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) is looking to increase its presence in the server marketIntel will also makes its E7500 chipset for dual processor servers and 860 chipset for dual processor workstations available for the new Xeon.

The 2.4GHz Xeon is priced at US$615 in 1,000 unit quantities.

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