Six-Core Xeon Due Soon

Arthur Cole

With all the attention on Intel's Larrabee and Nehalem processors, few have noticed that the company is rolling out a six-core Xeon said to open up new possibilities for server applications.


The design is based on the 45 nm process, and is in fact the last of the Penryn line before it gives way to the Nehalem, which will be rebranded as the i7 on its debut. But while some may see the device as the last gasp of the Penryn, the fact that it provides those two extra cores means it provides a larger cache (3 MB at level 2, 16 MB at level 3) for high data workloads.


And unlike many of the PC applications that are having trouble taking full advantage of multicore processing, server apps have a long history with parallel processing, albeit of the multi-chip variety.


That should mean new applications governing virtual environments and cloud services will get an extra boost.


Watch out for increased I/O bottlenecks, though. The older bus and integrated memory of the Penryn design won't be able to move data as quickly as the QuickPath-enabled Nehalems.

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