The Xeon processors, codenamed Dunnington, are based on the Intel Core architecture and come with 9MB of L2 cache and 16MB of L3 cache.
They are aimed at the corporate market and since they are pin compatible with existing Tigerton systems, it does open the way for affordable 24-core servers by simply dropping in four new processors like for this Dell PowerEdge R900 rack server.
AMD, Intel's only serious rival, has been preparing a triple-core processor based on the Barcelona architecture, which is going to be sold by Dell and aims at the less lucrative, more mainstream consumer/desktop markets.
The new processor promises three-fold speed improvements over the current Xeon 5160 which is Intel's entry level server processor.
From a developer perspective though, things could turn nasty as only recent applications can make use of more than one core, let alone three or more.