Intel has updated its Xeon server processor line to the latest and greatest technology, its “Westmere” family of processors. These chips use a new manufacturing process that lets the processor run faster and cooler than the older generation, plus Intel added a few new surprises. Find out more at HardwareCentral.
SAN FRANCISCO — Intel today launched the Xeon 5600, the next generation of its x86 server processor that adds a few new features to the usual speeds-and-feeds improvements that typically accompany a CPU update. Major server vendors are slated to announce Xeon 5600-based servers this week.
The Xeon 5600 is the server version of “Westmere,” the codename for Intel’s newest generation of processors. Westmere follows Nehalem, a 45-nanometer-process CPU introduced in early 2009. Nehalem was a whole new design, a native quad-core with an on-die memory controller, support for DDR3 memory and high-speed interconnects called QuickPath Interconnect.
Westmere shrinks the manufacturing process to 32nm, resulting in faster and cooler chips. The Xeon 5600 will get down as low as 40 watts or as high as 130 watts. The 5600 comes in four- and six-core designs, with the six-core models getting the fastest chips.
The fastest Westmere will run at 3.33GHz, compared to 2.93GHz for the fastest Nehalem, according to Boyd Davis, director of marketing of the server platforms group at Intel (NASDAQ: INTC). This means performance increases from anywhere from 20 to 60 percent, depending on the application, simply due to more cores and a faster clock speed.