Intel ups speed of quad-core processors

Intel squeezes out more processing power while maintaining energy usage

Intel has built two new quad-core processors that run faster than previous quad-core chips without using any additional power, the company announced Tuesday

The quad-core Intel Xeon L5420 and L5410 processors for servers and workstations are up to 25 per cent faster than Intel's previous Xeon processors, and have a 50 per cent larger cache size. Both the new server processors and their predecessors run at 12.5 watts per core, or 50 total, Intel said.

The new chips take "advantage of Intel's unique 45nm (nanometer) manufacturing capabilities and reinvented transistor formula that combine to boost performance and reduce power consumption in data centers," Intel said in a press release.

Intel is updating its quad-core line of processors just as rival Advanced Micro Devices gets ready to make its quad-core Barcelona chips generally available after months of delays. Intel also plans to release a six-core processor later this year, but isn't ignoring its quad- and dual-core lines. Intel also said Tuesday it will ship a new dual-core processor next month with a 40-watt rating, clock speed of 3GHz, and a 6MB cache size.

The L5420 and L5410 run at 2.50G and 2.33GHz, respectively, and have 12MB of cache.

The L5420 will be sold to resellers in 1,000-unit quantities for US$380 apiece, while the L5410 will go for US$320 apiece. Vendors who sell the Intel L5400 series include Asus, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, Hitachi, IBM, NEC, and Supermicro.

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