Intel Xeon launch promises faster, greener computing

The chipmaker has launched its long-awaited microprocessor, previously code-named Nehalem, which it says offers faster speeds and more efficient use of energy

Intel on Monday introduced the long-awaited Xeon 5500 microprocessor, previously code-named Nehalem, calling it the biggest announcement since the company first introduced the Pentium Pro chip back in 1995.

At an event at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters, executives introduced the Xeon 5500 as a revolutionary product that serves as a 'future-proof' platform with 'intelligence built in' in the forms of increased speed and power efficiency.

Specifically, the company is pointed to technology within the chip that makes it more flexible while also offering faster speeds and more efficient use of energy. Intel highlighted some performance benchmarks, looked at specific servers, compared the performance against the previous generation chip, and found performance benchmarks that increased by more than 150 percent in some cases.

The company pointed to enhancements in the memory subsystem, as well as the I/O subsystems. It also noted improvements that will enhance virtualisation benchmarks.

Intel also promised the new chip will bring cost savings and significant return-on-investment for datacentres.

As IT departments see budgets and resources shrink, the main job has become management of the datacentre, leaving little time or money for innovation. Intel says the performance of the Xeon 5500 is such that IT departments will see an 90 percent performance improvement, compared to servers with single-core chip, as well as an 18 percent increase in energy efficiency.

On the stage, Intel drove home the point by stacking nine servers next to a single Xeon 5500 server that it said can do the same work better, faster and cheaper.

Already, companies such as IBM, HP, Dell and others are announcing their products built on the Xeon 5500 platform and are pushing many of the same themes: cost-savings, increased energy efficiency and improved performance.

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