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Intel Moves to 10 Cores
One rack of the things is supposed to replace 18 racks of 2006 dual-core servers and cut energy costs by 93%

Intel has trotted out its latest 32nm Westmere-EX or E7 Xeons, which support up to 10 cores connected by a ring bus and are supposed to deliver up to 40% better performance than the eight-core Nehalem-EX chips they replace.

Amusingly the things are considered so powerful they're pitted against competitive RISC chips like IBM's Power chip and Oracle's Sparc chip and by default Intel's own Itanium, which Intel just had to defend when Oracle said it was going to stop supporting the largely HP-used part because Intel is going to discontinue it, an allegation roundly denied.

Intel said of the new Xeons, "The days of IT organizations being forced to deploy expensive, closed RISC architecture for mission-critical applications are nearing an end."

"There is no workload in the world Xeon can't handle."

The only reason to pick Itanium, it said, is to run proprietary Unix software.

One rack of the things is supposed to replace 18 racks of 2006 dual-core servers and cut energy costs by 93%.

The new Xeons are available for two-, four- or eight-socket servers, expandable to systems with 256 sockets. Intel's got 10-core versions of the dingus that will do 2.4GHz in a 130W envelop and 10-core parts that will do 2.13GHz in a 105W envelop.

A four-socket iteration supports 2TB of memory along with other finery like Turbo Boost, Hyper-Threading, Virtualization Technology, Intelligent Power and high-end RAS features.

The E7s have been shipping for a while and 19 vendors will have systems out in the next month or so. The larger OEMs are already fielding theirs.

AMD is expected to come up with a 16-core Interlagos chip next quarter based on its Bulldozer architecture to ward off the E7.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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