Hot on the heals of Intel's troubles with the 820 chipset, the chip vendor yesterday launched the 840 chipset, which will house the smaller sized Pentium III 733MHz processor.
The 840 itself has also had problems. It was intended to support four processors at launch, but now will initially support just two. Support for four will come early next year.
The 840 will be sold in dual-processor machines, the first with Pentium III processors at 733MHz, the second with the new Xeon processor. Intel claims that OEMs want to be able to offer servers at two different price points, 'value' and 'performance'. Differences will include support for a 133MHz frontside bus (the 820 supports 100MHz).
Like the 820, the 840 will support the controversial new Rambus memory technology being pushed by Intel as the next standard. But the 840 will also support the present standard SDRam. Intel admits that Rambus will not provide the performance required for servers until after 2001.
"Rambus does not give us the density of SDRam: the capacity is 256MHz per Dim, whereas SDRam is 512MHz, soon to be 1GHz per Dim. "Today we are restricted to two memory channels with two slots on each - that is, four Dims per server. Dual-processor machines will need up to 4GHz by the end of 2000. Four and eight processor machines need that now," explained Alan Priestley, server architecture marketing manager at Intel.
Existing Intel processors are made to a .25 micron standard size. The new Pentium III Xeon 733MHz, codenamed Cascades, and its desktop brother, codenamed Coppermine, are made to the .18 micron production process.
Intel refused to reveal pricing. Differences between the server and desktop chips include SIMD extensions and systems management and security features.
Intel has been paving the way towards admitting the delays to the four-way version of the 840 chipset by pushing the idea of headroom, which encourages customers to buy four-way servers with only two processors, with room to grow to four.
Many of Intel's OEMs are paving the way to the four-ways by looking at chipsets from rival vendors such as Fujitsu subsidiary, RCC.
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23
Asda, Morrisons and Tesco in the frame for checkout facial recognition technology
Research opens up new possibilities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre forms part of the energy system
Another shape could have indicated hard-to-detect particles