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Intel launches 1.7GHz Xeon
Actually happening this time
Intel finally unveiled its Xeon server processor - codenamed Foster - today, two weeks after it canned the chip's launch at the last minute.
The Xeon is based on the Pentium 4, though Intel has dropped the P4 reference from the name, presumably to help differentiate it from previous, Pentium III-based versions of the chip.
The new chip will ship, as we predicted, at 1.4, 1.5 and 1.7GHz. It supports a 400MHz system bus - in practice, two dual 200MHz frontside buses - delivered with Intel's 860 chipset. As per the desktop P4, the Xeon supports Rambus RDRAM. All three Xeons contain 256KB of on-die L2 cache. It's a Socket 603 part, and is designed to operate in single- or dual-processor systems.
The 1.7GHz Xeon costs $406 in batches of 1000 processors. The 1.5GHz part is priced at $309 and the 1.4GHz version at $268.
Intel's Xeon launch will finally allow Iwill to ship its DX400-SN mobo, designed to support the new processor. Iwill was all set to announce the part at the beginning of May - it even got its press release out - until Intel pulled the Xeon to fix "packaging issues" affecting the module the chip is mounted inside.
Iwill's mobo is based on the 860 chipset and supports up to two CPUs. It supports 64-bit PCI (there are two 64-bit slots and three 32-bit connectors) and AGP 4x, and has built-in Ethernet, audio and Dual Channel Ultra 160 SCSI. Up to 4GB of RDRAM can be installed - more when larger RIMMs arrive.
Tyan has a Xeon board out, too, called the Thunder i860. No prizes for guessing what chipset it's based on. It's spec. is pretty much identical to Iwill's board.
The current, 0.18 micron Xeon is roadmapped to hit 2GHz next quarter before ultimately being replaced by Prestonia, the 0.13 micron version of the chip, during Q1 2002. Not long after that, it will be pushed to 2.4GHz and beyond.
A multi-processor version of the Xeon with 512KB or 1MB of on-die L3 cache is expected in Q4 at 1.6GHz and up. They too will be replaced by 0.13 micron versions, this time codenamed Gallatin, in Q4 2002. ®