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Intel will introduce a new category of 0.13-micron Pentium III chips supported by a server-grade chip set with advanced I/O and error-correcting code memory at Comdex later this month. The company will demonstrate the Pentium III chips running in ultra-dense server racks, known as server blades.
In the first half of 2002, Intel also plans to introduce low and ultra-low voltage versions of the server-grade 0.13-micron Pentium III processors.
The new Pentium III server chips will put even more pressure on Transmeta's Crusoe chip, which is also targeted at the server blade market.
The 0.13-micron Pentium 4 lays the groundwork for the Pentium 4 chip family to attain speeds as high as 3GHz by the end of 2002. Originally set for a December launch, Intel recently moved the debut of the 0.13-micron Pentium 4 chip back to January.
Server blades are ultra-dense servers with a revolutionary vertical design that lends itself to low-power, low-heat operation, while allowing users to fit hundreds of server blades in a standard rack. With the Pentium III server chip, server blade companies will have a processor specifically designed for blade environments.
"Tualatin is a dynamite server chip," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. "One of the reasons [Intel] decided not to go forward with the Foster-based Xeon chip was because Tualatin had better performance in server environments."
With the new Pentium III server chip, Intel has basically taken its mobile Pentium III-M chip and re-targeted it at the server market for companies that were considering building Transmeta-based server blades. Intel already has a dual-processor 0.13-micron Pentium III, which stands to put further pressure on Transmeta, sources said.
Analysts do not expect Transmeta to be able to return fire against Intel in the server blade ship arena until the arrival of Transmeta's Crusoe 5800 processor, an upgrade from its 5600 chip that should arrive in mid-2002.