Intel will unveil its long-awaited Xeon server chip with the support of a bevy of hardware vendors, including IBM, Compaq and Dell.
The chip giant will launch a 400MHz processor with a price tag of around $1,120 when bought in units of 1,000.
Last week, Intel acknowledged there was an "erratum" caused by conflicts between the processor and the chipset which supports it, but claimed it already had a workaround being tested by its OEMs.
Intel hopes to make substantially larger margins on Xeon processors than its Pentium II and Celeron range of CPUs, despite the Slot Two devices using substantially the same technology as its less expensive cousins.
The reason for this is that the Xeon processors will be incorporated into workstations, servers and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems, all of which provide PC vendors and resellers with substantially more profit than the Celeron or Pentium II.
Although Intel has a window of opportunity with the Xeon family, it is likely to face competition in 1999 from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). AMD promises to produce SMP versions of its Slot A K7 processor when this is unveiled next year.
The other possible blot on Intel's Xeon landscape is Eckhard Pfeiffer, Compaq chief executive. Two weeks ago he suggested his company's volume servers would use the Alpha processor, which not only has the speed and more of the Xeon processor but will also support larger memory capacities.
The type of software applications used in SMP servers, such as databases and corporate financial packages, benefit from large amounts of memory on board.
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