July 8, 2005 4:26 PM PDT

Intel tweaks Pentium D for servers

Intel is gearing up to debut its first ever dual-core processor for servers, and CNET News.com has learned it's a Pentium.

The chipmaking giant is expected to announce next week that its Pentium D can now be sold with a new chipset--the Intel E7230--that has features best suited for entry-level servers.

Code-named Mukilteo, the chipset is the follow-on to Intel's Copper River, which is commonly used in workstations. The E7230 comes with the ability to handle 64-bit operating systems such as the Windows XP x64 Edition from Microsoft, advanced dynamic computer memory, faster data transfers via PCI Express and software that emulates storage through the redundant array of independent disks (more commonly known as RAID).

The chipsets will sell for $36 apiece when PC makers buy more than 1,000 of them. Pentium D chips retail for $530, $316, $241 in speeds of 3.2GHz, 3GHz and 2.8GHz respectively.

Server manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard are expected to sell the new Pentium D servers to run simple network server applications such as a Web server or a small database.

Intel has outfitted its desktop warrior Pentium for servers before. Some businesses report having Pentium II and Pentium III machines, but these are still single-core processors.

A dual-core chip means there are two processor cores in one piece of silicon. The effect is a computer brain that can handle multiple operations at once. Intel, IBM and Advanced Micro Devices are all transitioning their product lines from single-core chips to dual-core ones.

Intel has 15 dual-core projects under way. However, the company has only two dual-core processors on the market: its Pentium Extreme Edition and the Pentium D.

Intel's traditional server processors are not expected to make a transition to dual core for at least a few more months. Dual-core Itanium server chips are not due to arrive until later this year, and Intel's dual-core Xeon processors are not expected until the first quarter of 2006, company executives have said.

 

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