Intel launched new six-core server microprocessors today, hoping to widen the performance gap with rival Advanced Micro Devices and help corporations with ever-increasing Internet-related processing chores.
More than 50 server makers are launching new models of servers with the Intel chips today. Those models range from four-socket machines to 16-socket machines. Each socket can hold a six-core chip, known formally as Intel’s Xeon 7400 series processors and previously code-named Dunnington.
Tom Kilroy, general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group, said that the new chips deliver 50 percent better performance and 10 percent lower power consumption than the previous line of Xeon 7300 series chips. He spoke at a press conference in San Francisco. The event was attended by server makers and customers from big companies such as Oracle, MySpace, Verisign and Yahoo.
The chips are aimed at enabling big companies to deal with growing Internet traffic. Richard Buckingham, MySpace director of system engineering, said that the company has more than 12,000 servers that must be updated every couple of years to keep up with growing traffic requirements. Power-efficiency and more performance per power consumed are key concerns in adding new equipment, he said.
The Intel chips are based on 45-nanometer manufacturing technology that Intel has been shipping for some time. The introduction shows that the world’s biggest chip maker still has an advantage over AMD in server chips. AMD’s server market share hit its peak in 2006, but ever since then Intel has become more competititive and now has about 90 percent of the server chip market, according to International Data Corp.
Kilroy said the new chips can run software anywhere from 14 percent to 48 percent faster than the previous Xeon chips. Buckingham of MySpace said that the company would likely adopt the new chips and that would enable it to tackle future processing tasks such as letting users play and share high-definition videos.