Intel originally expected to launch the next Xeon for dual-processor servers in the fourth quarter of this year. The 2GHz processors were to be built using 0.18-micron technology, and have 256Kbytes of on-die cache, said Intel spokesman Otto Pipjker. However, when Intel realised it could accelerate the delivery of the 2.2GHz Xeon, it decided to skip the 2GHz version.
"We'll deliver a triple shot of performance boosts," Pipjker said. Indeed, in addition to the 2.2GHz speed, the new dual-processor chips and chip sets, code-named "Prestonia" and "Plumas" respectively, will feature 512Kbytes of on-die cache and will be manufactured using the smaller 0.13-micron process.
"We decided to forgo the introduction of Foster Xeon for dual-processor servers this year because we saw it running into late [fourth quarter]," Pipjker said. "We knew Prestonia was doing well, and we didn't think it made much sense to ask our customers to validate two [processors] that quickly."
And the customers, including Compaq, Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, agreed with Intel's decision. "The customers were all behind us," Pipjker said.
Vendors will now be shipping dual-processor Xeon systems in the first quarter of next year as well.
None of Intel's other offerings will be affected by the change, Pipjker said. The Foster Xeon for workstations - which is currently available in speeds up to 1.7GHz - will continue to ship, with an additional frequency to be released this quarter. The 4-way and 8-way Foster Xeons are also on track to be released in the first half of next year as well.