Intel Xeon 5600 Launch Targets Data Centre Upgrades

New Westmere-based server chip range aims at single-core server refresh lifecycles, touting a 15:1 server consolidation ratio and 5-month payback

Intel today launched what it claims is the world’s most secure data centre processor, while aiming to be a disruptive force in the single-core server market.

The Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series supports up to six cores per processor, which the chipmaker claims delivers up to 60 percent greater performance than the 45nm Intel Xeon 5500 series.

The new series is based on Intel’s new 32nm logic technology, which uses Intel’s second-generation high-k metal gate transistors to increase speed and decrease energy consumption.

This is why it is targeting legacy data centre kit replacement cycles, where it said one Xeon 5600 based server could replace 15 single-core servers and deliver a return on investment in as little as five months.

“The Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series will be the backbone of mainstream computing environments,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group.

He added that the addition of new security capabilities would boost IT managers’ confidence when virtualising systems. Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI) has moved the AES capability from the software to the silicon, which said would accelerate database and full-disk encryption performance.

In addition, it said the new 5600 series Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) feature integrates hardware-based capabilities into the processor shield against malicious software to allow important applications and data to run more securely in a virtualised environment.

“Improvements in performance, server virtualisation and power consumption will foster productivity and efficiency for a broad range of applications ranging from data transactions to workstations performing medical imaging and digital prototyping,” Kaugen said.

Intel also announced the availability of the Intel Xeon processor L3406 series, which it said was targeted for use in the single-processor micro server segment. And three new processors launched for the embedded computing environment, including the first six-core processors, the Intel Xeon E5645 and L5638, the quad-core L5618 and E5620 processors.

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