Intel set to take on AMD's Barcelona

Intel is set to release a version of its Xeon chip designed for high-end servers with multiple processors. The product has been designed to compete head-to-head with AMD's upcoming quad-core Barcelona processor.

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Intel is set to release a version of its Xeon chip designed for high-end servers with multiple processors. The product has been designed to compete head-to-head with AMD's upcoming quad-core Barcelona processor.

The Xeon 7300 chips, called Tigerton, are the first quad-core processors from Intel designed to be used in servers with four or more processors, a relatively small but lucrative segment of the server market. Previously, the Xeon processor for this segment of the market had two cores, despite the availability of quad-core Xeon chips for single-processor and two-way servers.

The new chips offer significantly better performance than their predecessors, the Intel's Xeon 5300 chips, said Adesh Gupta, regional platform architecture manager at Intel Asia-Pacific's Server Platforms Group.

"Across the spectrum of different applications, we're seeing really, really good performance," Gupta said.

Benchmarks run by Intel showed significant gains for many enterprise applications, including SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Gupta said. The 7300 series chips can handle roughly 82 percent more ERP users and 92 percent more database transactions than the 5300 chips, he said.

The 7300 is part of the Caneland chip package, which also includes Intel's 7300 chipset, known as Clarksboro. The new chipset has four 1,066MHz interconnects that are linked to an individual processor, helping reduce latency between the processors and main memory.

Caneland is the last release expected from Intel before AMD announces the availability of its Barcelona server chips on 10 September. Barcelona is widely expected to offer significant performance increases over AMD's existing dual-core server chips, and should mean tighter competition with Intel in the server space.

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