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					     Inside the New
     Intel Xeon Server Processor
      With the release of its latest Xeon server processor, Intel is delivering features that IT
      managers most crave: faster performance, lower power consumption and easier
      server consolidation.

     The Xeon 5100 series dual-core server processors are Intel’s first                       less heat, which will result in lower energy bills.
     chips based on a new architecture that boosts performance by
     135 percent and lowers energy consumption by 40 percent over                             The seven chips in the new 5100 Xeon series run 32-bit and 64-bit applications,
     previous Xeons.                                                                          offer speeds between 1.6GHz and 3GHz and operate at between 40 and 80
                                                                                              watts. Intel’s previous generation of Xeons — the dual-core 5000 series, the last
      The new server chip family, which offers two processors on the same silicon, is         server chips using the NetBurst Architecture — ran on 95 to 130 watts. In contrast,
      a powerful, cost-effective solution for IT organizations of all sizes, including        AMD’s current crop of Opteron servers operates at 95 watts.
      small and medium-sized companies with mainstream file and printer server and
      application needs, larger organizations with high-performance tasks and even            Brookwood says the new Xeon processors are now competitive with AMD, which
      Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with large Web farms, says Jason Waxman,              isn’t slated to release its next major new processor until next year. While industry
      director of Intel’s Server Platforms Group.                                             benchmarks aren’t yet available, Intel’s own benchmarks claim that the 5100 series
                                                                                              provides 60 percent better performance than AMD’s Opteron 285 chip.
     “What we’ve done is truly deliver a world-class server processor that offers
      leadership in performance and energy efficiency, along with breakthrough               “Intel has dramatically improved its architecture and dramatically improved its
      technologies, such as virtualization, which our customer base has been asking           power consumption, and consequently, the performance-per-watt contest is now
      for,” he says.                                                                          a whole lot closer,” says Brookwood. “It would be surprising if Intel weren’t in a
                                                                                              position to win a lot of benchmarks now.”
      Analysts say the new Xeon chip family delivers on its promises and will aid Intel in
      its quest to recapture market share that it has lost to rival chipmaker AMD. While      New Benefits
      Intel still dominates the x86 server chip space, AMD has captured 22.1 percent of       The new Intel Core architecture retires the Pentium 4 processor family, which was
      the market since entering the server market with its better performing Opteron          first introduced in 2000 and included previous Xeon chips. The Pentium 4s were
      chip in 2003, according to analyst firm Mercury Research in Cave Creek, Ariz.           built with the NetBurst Architecture, which was designed to boost processor
                                                                                              performance by increasing processor speeds.
     “Intel’s previous Xeons were based on its NetBurst Architecture, which was the
      Pentium 4 design, and it really ran out of steam two or three years ago,” says         But the harder Intel pushed the clock speed, the more heat it generated, which
      analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64, a chip analyst firm based in Saratoga,         prevented the company from taking its processors from 3GHz to its goal of
      Calif. “With these new products, Intel finally has some live ammo in its gun again.”   10GHz. When Intel built its first-generation Xeon dual-core chip last year using
                                                                                             the NetBurst Architecture, it essentially bolted together two single-core chips,
      The new 5100 series dual-core Xeon processors, targeted at the two-way                 Brookwood says.
      server configuration market, are the first chips based on the new Intel Core
      microarchitecture, which serves as the foundation for the next several generations      Intel’s new architecture is geared for multicore processors and features a handful
      of Intel server, desktop and notebook computer processors. Built using a                of new design enhancements, including technology that increases the number of
      65-nanometer manufacturing process, the new Xeons feature new design                    instructions per clock cycle, faster bus speeds, larger cache sizes and improved
      innovations that increase performance while consuming less power and generating         memory efficiencies that remove bottlenecks, Waxman says. »

              three times the amount
“The net change is about
 of memory bandwidth than we were able to deliver
 in previous generations.”

                                                    Intel Server Platform   15
      At a Glance:

      Intel’s Xeon Processor 5100 Series

      Intel’s new dual-core Xeon 5100 processors, formerly code-named “Woodcrest,” offer a 135 percent improvement in performance
      and 40 percent reduction in power consumption over previous Xeon chips. The new processors are built using the new Intel Core
                                 Processor Number                     Speed                  Front Side Bus               Total Dissipated Power
                                 Xeon 5160                               3GHz                    1333MHz                           80 watts
                                 Xeon 5150                             2.66GHz                   1333MHz                           65 watts
                                 Xeon 5148                             2.33GHz                   1333MHz                           40 watts
                                 Xeon 5140                             2.33GHz                   1333MHz                           65 watts
                                 Xeon 5130                               2GHz                    1333MHz                           65 watts
                                 Xeon 5120                             1.86GHz                   1333MHz                           65 watts
                                 Xeon 5110                              1.6GHz                   1333MHz                           65 watts

      Intel Wide Dynamic Execution allows four instructions to be executed                      with memory, I/O drives and the rest of the processor. In the past, each processor
      simultaneously with each clock cycle. Previously, only three instructions were            in an Intel dual-core chip shared the same bus. “The net change is about three
      executed simultaneously for each clock cycle. “Think of it like putting more              times the amount of memory bandwidth than we were able to deliver in previous
      cylinders in a car engine,” Waxman explains.                                              generations,” Waxman says.

      Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost speeds the execution of Streaming SIMD                Intel is also using faster, more reliable DIMMs (dual in-line memory modules),
      (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) Extension (SSE) instructions, which are common       called Fully-Buffered DIMMs, which transmit data to and from main memory.
      in financial, engineering and scientific applications, as well as encryption, video,     The new DIMMs quadruple the memory capacity of older Xeon chips, he says.
      speech and photo-processing applications. Previously, Intel Xeon chips executed
      one SSE instruction for every two clock cycles. With Advanced Digital Media Boost,        Energy Efficiency
      the Xeon 5100 executes one SSE instruction per clock cycle.                               Since their introduction into the market last year, dual-core processors have
                                                                                                become huge sellers because IT administrators can boost performance without
     “This is very important for users of both multimedia applications and scientific           having to add more servers in their crowded data centers. In fact, Intel and AMD
      research,” Waxman says. “Those people are the hungriest, in terms of                      dual-core processors represented 25 percent of all x86 server spending in the third
      performance.”                                                                             quarter of 2005, according to technology research firm IDC. The number of AMD
                                                                                                and Intel dual-core systems sold more than doubled in the fourth quarter, on a
      Intel has made two improvements to the cache to further boost performance.                quarter-over-quarter basis, the firm reports.
      First, Intel has increased the cache size of the Xeon processor from 1MB or 2MB
      in previous generations to 4MB. Second, a new feature called Intel Advanced               IT organizations can consolidate their servers by replacing their single-core server
      Smart Cache allows both cores on the processor to share the L2 cache. Previously,         systems with the new dual-core Xeon 5100 chip, Waxman says. With its low
      Intel’s dual-core processors had separate L2 caches for each core, so if both cores       power consumption, they can cut their energy bill at the same time.
      needed the same data, both caches had to capture the same information. Now,               Five out of the seven Xeon 5100 processors operate at 65 watts, about half the
      with a shared cache available, both cores needing the same data can share the             wattage of previous Xeon chips. For IT shops where energy efficiency is critical,
      same cache, making the process more efficient. Also, if one core is idle, the other       Intel offers an even more efficient processor, the 2.33GHz Xeon 5148, which runs
      core could take advantage of the entire 4MB of cache, offering a substantial              at 40 watts. For those with larger performance requirements, Intel offers the 3GHz
      performance increase for Web server applications or business intelligence and data        Xeon 5160 processor, which uses 80 watts.
      management tools, Waxman explains.
                                                                                               “Some data centers are just full and can’t consume much more power, [which is]
      Another technology, called Intel Smart Memory Access, uses algorithms that                why there’s so much excitement with the Xeon 5100s,” Waxman says. “You fit
      speculate what memory may be needed, then it fetches the memory before it is              more servers within the data center and lower the cost of powering and cooling
      requested, placing it in cache and available when needed.                                 the servers.”

      Intel has also built in dual front side buses, giving each CPU a bus to communicate      To further decrease power consumption, Intel has created Intel Intelligent Power

Capability, which shuts off portions of Xeon 5100 processors when they’re                  technology. Intel will continue to sell the Xeon 5000s for customers who have
idle, he adds.                                                                             already standardized on the older technology and aren’t yet ready to transition to
                                                                                           the newer 5100s, he says.
Intel has also built in virtualization technology in the new chips to help IT
organizations better utilize their server resources and aid in server consolidation.       More than 150 vendors have announced support for the new Xeon 5100 processor,
Virtualization is the ability to section off the server into multiple “virtual servers,”   including Acer, HP, IBM, MPC and Supermicro. For example, the HP ProLiant
which operate their own operating systems and applications. Intel’s technology             DL380 G5 model features a 3GHz dual-core Xeon 5160 processor and 2GB of
— called Intel Virtualization — is a set of hardware enhancements aimed at                 RAM for $4,559.99. The IBM BladeCenter HS21 features a 3GHz dual-core Xeon
improving the performance and reliability of virtualization software from VMware           5160 processor and 1GB of RAM for $3,530.
and Microsoft, Waxman says. Intel has also partnered with VMware to develop
a set of best practices for virtualization.                                                When Intel announced the new chip in late June, CDW customers immediately
                                                                                           began flooding the company with orders, says Oscar Slusarczyk, Intel brand
Xeon: Today and Tomorrow                                                                   manager at CDW.
Intel currently offers four sets of server processors: at the low-end are the Pentium
4/Pentium D processors for entry-level servers aimed at small businesses, while the        With the release of the Xeon 5100, now is the perfect time for IT organizations to
high-end features the Intel Itanium 2 9000 series processor.                               upgrade and refresh their servers, Slusarczyk says. “Quite a number of customers
                                                                                           are looking for a reliable, dependable and high-performing processor and that’s
For those who need four-way configurations, Intel offers the dual-core Xeon                what Intel has designed with the 5100.”
Processor 7000 sequence, which was built using the NetBurst Architecture.
The company plans to announce an update to the 7000 processor in the third                 Waxman predicts huge success for the new processor family. “This will be our
quarter, Waxman says.                                                                      highest volume server processor for years to come, and it really is something
                                                                                           that will be deployed in millions of servers,” he says. “Customers are looking for
For customers who need up to two-way configurations, Intel offers the                      substantially improved performance and energy efficiency, and we’ve really hit the
lower-priced dual-core Xeon 5000, built on NetBurst Architecture, and the new              mark with the Xeon 5100 series.” ◊
dual-core Xeon 5100 processors, featuring the latest Intel Core architecture

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                                                                                                                                                   Intel Server Platform        17