Intel launches New Server Processor

Intel launched its new Intel Xeon 5500 series server processors on Tuesday.
The 17 enterprise-class processors can automatically adjust to specified energy usage levels, speed data centre transactions and customer database queries, Intel said

The processor, previously codenamed ‘Nehalem-EP’ (named after the Nehalem river and town in Northwest Oregon), offers several breakthrough technologies that improve system speed and versatility. Technologies such as the turbo boost technology and next-generation virtualization technology allows the system to adapt to a broad range of workloads. “These chips have shown advanced performance, virtualization and workload management in various industries, scientific research, creating digital content, image analysis, simulation techniques to name a few,” said R Ravichandran, directorsales, Intel (South Asia), speaking at a press conference in Bangalore.

As per research firm IDC, by 2015, the internet will see 15 billion connected devices, which will lead to major transformations in the internet infrastucture. “The newly launched processors have the power and adaptability to support the upcoming internet transformations,” said Ravichandran. The processor is also expected to encourage moves towards cloud computing.

However, Nehalem’s launch was met with a strong statement from Intel’s long time rival AMD, which said the processor was similar to technologies that AMD pioneered in 2003. “The memory controller integration into the silicon die in the new Intel architecture is believed to boost the whole system performance significantly. However, this is a standard feature on all of AMDs server products since 2003. Also Nehalem is supported by a high speed internal bus known as Quick Path Interconnect. This concept is quite similar to existing HyperTransport technology available in AMD products,” said Vamsi Krishna, senior technical manager in AMD India in statement.

“Products like Nehalem and technologies like Quick Path Interconnect are simply Intel’s admission that AMD was right all along about an integrated memory controller being the key to superior processor architecture,” added Krishna.

An Intel spokesperson responded with the following statement: “The platform architecture of the Xeon Processor 5500 series has some similarities with AMD’s platform architecture considering the use of an integrated memory controller and high speed serial interconnect. But the Quick Path Interconnect offers greater performance and additional capabilities compared to HyperTransport. The individual design tradeoffs are not as important to customers as overall performance and efficiency.”
Pradeep Chakraborty, an industry expert and semicon blogger, told TOI that Intel’s newly launched chipset is the first of its kind, “but with the current market slowdown it might not be able to make the desired mark”.


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