Intel ports Nehalem to next-gen Xeon processors

Xeon 7500 processor supports up to 256 sockets per server

Global chip manufacturer Intel announced recently the availability of its next-generation Xeon processors which sport the popular Nehalem microarchitecture found in its consumer Core chips, and is targeted at mission-critical servers at the enterprise level.

Touting it as the "biggest performance leap in Xeon history," Intel executives revealed during a teleconference with the Asia Pacific press that the Xeon 7500 series delivers three times more performance than its predecessor, and at least 20 times better than Intel's initial server chip offering.

"With 20 new reliability features that address all kinds of workload, the 7500 processor is surely capable of being a foundation technology for large servers," explained Boyd Davis, general manager, data center group marketing, Intel.

One of these recovery features, according to Davis, is MCA or Machine Check Architecture, which scans to check if no memory is corrupted, and is capable of recovering from errors.

The memory capacity on the 7500 has also increased four-fold, with the memory bandwidth moving up eight notches. This is a good setup for virtualization of servers, according to Davis.

Additionally, the Xeon 7500 chips boast of efficient modular scaling, which can go from as low as two sockets for large memory workloads, to as much as 256 sockets for mission-critical processes.

The Intel Xeon processor 7500 series also supports up to eight integrated cores and 16 threads, and can scale up to 32 cores and 64 threads per 4-chip platform. The 7500 processor also benefits from Nehalem's inherent Turbo Boost technology, which automatically overclocks the processor when needed.

"About 90% of the volume for investments in servers today is pouring in for Intel-based servers," shared Davis. "So with this new release, we are expecting that level to accelerate."

The Intel Xeon 7500 completes the latest server chip releases from Intel, starting off with the 5600 for energy-efficient computing, and the C5500/C3500 Xeon processors targeted at heavy storage users, all released very recently.

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John Mark V. Tuazon

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