Intel has formally introduced its six-core Dunnington server chip.
Officially known as the Xeon 7400, the new chips will target virtualisation-heavy and high-performance servers. Plans for the chip range from four-socket to high-end 16-socket server systems.
The main target of the Dunnington line will be virtualised systems. Intel touted a 40 per cent boost in Hyper-V performance and a top score in the VMWare WMmark tests.
"Performance overall is very important," said Tom Kilroy, general manager of Intel's digital enterprise group, at a special press event in San Francisco.
"This platform does a lot of hosting for virtualisation in the enterprise, and in the two primary metrics we're doing very well."
The new chip will also sport increased energy efficiency, mainly due to the use of the 45nm Hi-k transistor architecture.
Intel estimates that Dunnington runs 10 per cent more efficiently than its previous line while maintaining a 50 per cent boost in performance overall.
The chip may also have an impact outside the corporate IT space. In a panel discussion, MySpace system engineering director Richard Buckingham suggested that the new chips could allow for servers that offer high-end features like streaming HD-video.
"Now there's a realisation that we can bring things to market that just were not scalable four years ago," Buckingham told reporters. "We can deliver a substantial amount of video with a very small footprint of servers."
Among the vendors which Intel expects to offer systems with the new chips are IBM, HP, Sun, Dell and Fujitsu Siemens. The new chips will hit the market with prices ranging from $856 to $2,729 per chip in quantities of 1,000.
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