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Intel Ships New Xeons, First SSD Drive

Intel continues its low power push with the introduction of new low-power Xeon chips for servers and its solid state drives (SSDs), first announced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) last month.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) introduced four Xeon chips today, one dual-core and three quad-core, that keep a promise made last year in terms of manufacturing. These are the first chips to be made that are entirely halogen-free.

When Intel first announced its Penryn line of processors, it promised to eventually get rid of all halogen chemicals in the processors' packaging materials. Halogen is a flame retardant but also difficult to recycle

The processors are drop-in compatible with Intel's existing dual-processor platforms, so all that is required to run them in an existing two-processor server is a BIOS upgrade.

The new dual-core processor is the X5270, which runs at 80 watts and 3.5GHz in clock speed, with a 1333MHz I/O bus. It will sell for $1,172 in lots of 1,000.

The quad-core chips include the L5430, the "L" standing for low power as it consumes just 50 watts. The 2.66GHz processor also has the 1333MHz bus. Its price is $562 in lots of 1,000. The other two chips are the X5470, running at 3.33GHz and 120 watts, for $1,386/per 1,000, and the X5492, a 3.4GHz chip with a 1600MHz bus and 150 watt draw, at $1,493/per 1,000.

This isn't all Intel has planned for September, as its six-core Dunnington processor is also planned for this month. It will be the final Core 2 processor design as Intel is shifting to the Core i7 platform, known by its code name Nehalem.

Intel on Monday also shipped the first of its SSD hard drives for notebooks and PCs. The 80GB X18-M and X25-M drives are 1.8-inches and 2.5-inches in size, respectively, aimed at desktops and notebooks. Intel has priced the drive at $595 in lots of 1,000.

With no moving parts, Intel is claiming energy efficiency on the SSD drives, and that a laptop will gain around 30 minutes of extra battery life thanks to the lower power draw as compared to a standard hard disk.The company expects to ship 160GB capacity drives as well as the X25-E Extreme, a 32GB but very fast SSD drive meant for high performance systems, later this year.