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Intel Introduces Low Power Xeon CPUs For Microservers

Intel has added two low power Xeon processors and has revealed that it will deliver more of those energy-sipping CPUs over the next 24 months, based on Sandy Bridge and the Atom architecture.

The two processors, the E3-1260L and the E3-1220L, will target the growing microserver market where socket density is paramount. In effect, it is all about cramming getting as many one-socket servers as possible in an industry standard chassis.

The 1260L is a quad core Xeon CPU clocked at 2.4GHz with the ability to overclock to 3.3GHz. It comes with 8MB L3 cache, and supports Hyper Threading. The 1220L is a dual core one with a normal speed of 2.2GHz and an additional headroom of 1.2GHz (yep, a 50 percent overclock); although it does support HT as well, it only has 3MB L2 cache.

TDP for the four-core part is 45W and for the two-core one, 20W. Intel also confirmed that it will release a Sandy-bridge based server CPU that will decrease the TDP to 15W (ed : possibly by cutting the speed), and a sub-10W model Atom-based processor next year.

In comparison, the latest Atom processor to be launched, the N570 supports HT, is clocked at 1.66GHz, has 1MB cache, uses a 45nm manufacturing process, dissipates 8.5W and costs only $85. One can therefore envisage that the 10W part Intel is talking about will be the successor to the N570 (ed : maybe a die shrink to 32nm?).