Intel to release better server chip Wednesday

Intel will beef up its offerings for the server market Wednesday when it announces that it has started shipping a 900MHz version of its Pentium III Xeon processor equipped with a 2M-byte Level 2 cache, an Intel spokesman confirmed.

Dell Computer will announce the immediate availability of PowerEdge servers incorporating the new chip, according to a Dell spokesman. Other vendors, including Gateway and IBM are also expected to announce systems this week built around the chip, said a source familiar with those companies' plans.

Intel-based servers compete with systems from Sun Microsystems, which itself is expected to announce new servers at a press conference Wednesday in New York.

Intel's Xeon family is designed for workstations and servers. The chips range in clock speed from 700MHz to 1GHz, and most of them include 256k-bytes of Level 2 cache memory, a data reservoir close to the processor that helps boost performance. The 900MHz part released Wednesday packs a much larger, 2M-byte Level 2 cache, said Intel spokesman Otto Pijpker.

Dell will offer the 900MHz chip in PowerEdge 6400, 6450, and 8450 servers, prices for which start at US$8,099, $8,399, and $16,643, respectively, Dell spokesman Matt Boucher said. The 6400 and 6450 servers can use as many as four processors and the 8450 as many as eight; additional processors bought from Dell are priced at $6,599.

Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080, or at http://www.intel.com/.

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