Once again, Intel beats AMD to the punch by daring to step past the increasingly-commonplace four core microprocesser with its new six core Xeon CPU. The new enterprise-class chip features a whopping 16MB of L3 cache and becomes the first to use Intel’s new native multi-core chip design, with all six cores on a single die.
The new six core chip comes about a year too soon for AMD, who isn’t expected to launch a chip with anything more than six cores until the latter half of next year. Given their only recent transition to 45nm technologies (again, about a year after Intel), it’s really not that surprising.
A quad-core 7300-series Xeon chip. Click for distressingly high resolution. Credit: Intel
The new 7400-series Xeon chip uses the same socket as the 7300-series chips. There is no price given, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Intel asking for close to three thousand dollars for the new processor. It’s expected to come in at lower power envelope than its power-hungry predessor, which sucked down 130W.
Given that the new Nehalem-based chips are expected to launch within the next couple of months, this will be the last hurrah for the current architecture. It’s a good way for current users to upgrade, without having to worry about hardware incompatibilities with a new chipset; it’s essentially just plug and play.