Intel has unveiled its 7300 and 7200 series Xeon processors and the new 7300 chipset.
Previously known by their Tigerton and Clarksboro codenames respectively, the four-core and two-core chips are designed for systems with four or more physical processors.
The new chips also mark the final stage of Intel's transition to its Core micro-architecture, which allows for more power efficient chips than the previous NetBurst generation.
IBM demonstrated its forthcoming x4 featuring 16 processors, while Unisys showed off a 32-socket design. Both vendors have to rely on internally developed chipsets, as the Intel chipset is limited to four sockets.
The transition to the Core architecture has allowed Intel to close the gap with AMD in the performance-per-watt metric, allowing it to take back market share from AMD's Opteron.
A four-socket server bundles four physical processors in a single system. Intel and AMD offer different designs for single-processor, dual-processor and multi-processor servers.
As multiple chips are integrated into a system, they require special features to speed up the memory transfer as data is shared between the chips.
Intel has been shipping one-socket and two-socket quad-core chips, and also offered a multi-processor version of its NetBurst dual-core Xeon.
The vast majority of the server market currently comprises two-socket servers which are capable of running most enterprise applications, undercutting demand for four-socket systems.
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