Intel's Next-Generation Server Promises

Intel's Server Roadmap Explained

It's interesting to see what has become of Intel. While code names used to be top secret in the past, Intel increasingly communicates these to the public at rather early stages today. At the same time, the number of code names for processors and chipsets as well as the whole platforms has increased as well. The result is a server roadmap overview page (see above) that hosts over 30 code names.

We are going to take a look at the upcoming Xeon generation, which is framed with the red dashed line. Bensley is the code name for both the next-generation Xeon platform as well as the processor and is geared towards the entry-level enterprise segment. The multi- processing platform is called Truland, but due to lack of real news, we are not going to discuss it here.

The chipset for the Xeon Bensley platform will either be Green Creek (workstation) or Blackford (server) and you will have the choice of three different 65-nm processors: Dempsey, a shrunken version of today's dual core Xeon; Sossaman, which is a low-power version for small form factor servers or the upcoming Woodcrest processor. The latter will make use of Intel's new micro architecture and, as our preliminary intelligence shows, will likely assume the lead in the performance-per-watt contest against AMD.

Dempsey is the next-generation Xeon dual core, based on the technology that is going to be introduced with Cedar Mill and Presler . This chip is going to be the last NetBurst based product. Woodcrest, however, won't be available before H2/2006. This device will also be a 65-nm product, but it will be a next-generation micro architecture processor with either 4 or 8 MB L2 cache.

The neat thing about the Dempsey platform is that motherboards will be able to run either Dempsey or Woodcrest processors (Socket 771), giving users a promising upgrade option. I haven't mentioned Sossaman yet because this device is different again. Sossaman is a redesign of the Yonah notebook dual-core and specifically targets low-power server systems. However, Sossaman platforms will be quite different from systems that power Dempsey and Woodcrest because they will use Socket 479.

One thing might be important to add: The Xeon dual core you can buy today is of exclusive use for Lindenhurst platforms available today. All the upcoming dual cores are going to use the Bensley platform.

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