Intel unveils new low-power, 45nm Xeons

— 9:25 AM on March 25, 2008

As AMD prepares its B3-revision Opterons, Intel has pulled another two 45nm quad-core Xeons out of its hat. These chips aren't ultra-high-end offerings meant to cement Intel's clock speed advantage. Rather, the new Xeon L5420 and Xeon L5410 are low-power chips that may compete right on the Opteron's turf.

Both models are based on 45nm process technology, and Intel rates them for thermal envelopes of just 50W—or 12.5W per core, as it points out. Like the Xeon E5410 that came out last year, the new L5410 runs at 2.33GHz and couples 12MB of L2 cache with a 1333MHz front-side bus. The same thing goes for the L5420, which has the same 2.5GHz clock speed, 12MB of L2 cache, and 1333MHz FSB as the older Xeon E5420. The difference, of course, is that the older E5410 and E5420 models both have 80W thermal envelopes. Intel is rolling out the L5410 at $320 and the L5420 at $380, putting the 50W chips at a premium over their 80W counterparts.

The world's biggest chipmaker says a substantial number of server vendors and hardware manufacturers already support Xeon L5400-series processors, including Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gigabyte, HP, Hitachi, IBM, MSI, NEC, Quanta, Rackable, Supermicro, Tyan, and Verari.

Intel has further ambitions in the low-power space for the next quarter, too. The company says it plans to start shipments of a dual-core processor with a 3GHz clock speed, 6MB of cache, 1333MHz FSB, and a power rating of just 40W in Q2. The press release suggests that chip will be known as the Xeon L5210.

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