Intel releases new chipset

The IOP310 I/O (input/output) processor chipset brings together Intel's new 80200 processor -- based on the XScale microarchitecture -- and its 80312 I/O companion chip. The new chipset helps boost system performance to what Intel claims is triple the processing power of previous units while lowering heat production. The increased power should help meet the requirements of advanced Internet storage systems and Internet infrastructure such as database and other applications, the chip maker said in a statement.

The new chipset should be available in four clock speeds, ranging from 333MHZ to 733MHz -- all consuming just over 1 watt of power when maxed out. Intel said the technology will likely benefit storage markets first, including RAID (redundant array of independent disks), SAN (storage area networks) and NAS (network attached storage). The XScale microarchitecture comes with the promise that it will reach speeds of up to 1GHz while pulling 1.5 watts of power. Lower power can allow equipment builders to stack products closer together due to the ability to achieve smaller size.

Mylex, a subsidiary of IBM, said it will use the new I/O processor to enhance its RAID storage controllers.

Users can currently sample the I/O chipset, which should reach full production (up to 600MHz) by the first quarter of 2001. In quantities of 10,000, the cost will vary from $US70 for the 333MHz unit to $US93 for the 600MHz version. Intel said the 733MHz processor should follow shortly thereafter.

The chip giant also said Wednesday it will expand investment in fast processors, chipsets and development kits in the applied computing market segment. The company again targeted applications such as Internet infrastructure and networked equipment as areas benefitted most by this move.

In particular, Intel's Pentium III processors at 850MHz and 866MHz and its 815 and 815E chipsets will benefit from the increased support, the chip maker said. Intel will additionally introduce the 815E Scalable Performance Board development kit.

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