Intel today began shipping two Pentium III Xeon processors for high-end servers - the first upgrade to the line since last summer.
The processors, which run at 700Mhz, will improve levels of performance in high-end server platforms based on 4-way and 8-way multiprocessing, said Intel.
Last August, the chip giant launched the 550Mhz version of its Pentium III Xeon processor, based on its Profusion 8-way chipset.
The latest 700Mhz chips are the first so-called large cache Pentium III Xeon processors and offer either 1Mb or 2Mb of 'on die' level two (L2) cache. This means that cache memory is part of the processor. Previously, cache memory was on a separate and more costly cache memory chip.
The 2Mb version integrates 140 million transistors onto a single microprocessor die. The clock speed increase, along with the enhanced cache design, boosts overall system performance by 13 per cent to 46 per cent, depending on applications and configurations, said Intel.
The company said more than a dozen server manufacturers worldwide plan to introduce systems based on the chips this quarter, with others planning launches in the third quarter.
The chips cost $1177 for 1Mb of L2 cache and $1980 for the 1Mb cache version, in 1000-unit quantities.
Intel's 64-bit Itanium is set to go into production in the third quarter with a clock speed of 800Mhz. The next member of the IA-64 family will be McKinley, due in late 2001.
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