Intel delivers 32nm six-core Xeon

Intel today launched its Xeon processor 5600 series of server chip. The 32nm processors sport up to six cores and are designed to be a 'drop-in' replacement for the Xeon 5500 series. Intel claims the new chips deliver "up to 60 per cent greater performance" than the 45nm 5500 series.

As well as more cores, Intel has boosted L3 cache to 12MB of per socket.

The processors include new security features. Intel's Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), and its Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT). These supposedly enable faster encryption and decryption performance for more secure transactions.

These are the first server and workstation chips based Intel 32nm logic technology, which uses Intel's second-generation high-k metal gate transistors to increase speed and decrease energy consumption.

Intel said the frequency-optimised quad-core version of the Xeon 5600 series peaks at 3.46GHz with a TDP of 130 watts, while the six-core version reaches 3.33GHz with a TDP of 130 watts. Advanced six-core versions will top out at 2.93GHz and TDP of 95 watts, and the standard quad-core processor will reach 2.66GHz at 80 watts. Low voltage versions of the chip will have TDPs as low as 60 watts and 40 watts and feature six and four cores respectively.

The chip maker reckons a two-socket server using the new low-voltage Xeon processor L5640 can deliver the same performance as a server using the previous generation Xeon X5570 series, but with up to 30 percent lower platform power.

According to the firm, data centres could replace 15 single-core servers with a single new one, and achieve a return on their investment in as little as five months.

Rival chip firm AMD will release its new range of Opteron server chips later this month.