Intel launches Nehalem EX processor

Xeon processor

Intel last night launched its latest server processor, the Xeon 7500, based on its Nehalem EX architecture.

Already featured in a number of new servers from the likes of Dell and IBM, the processor is aimed at high-end companies with large-scale virtualised environments or private cloud projects.

Shannon Poulin, Xeon platform director of the data centre group from Intel, said at the event: "The 7500 is really a game changer from our perspective [with] a dramatic increase in performance [of] up to 3X."

"It is the biggest performance leap we have ever had in the performance space [and] we believe this part will have undisputed performance leadership."

The eight core CPUs use hyperthreading to achieve 16 threads while also having Quick Path Interconnect technology and eight memory channels per socket.

With 16GB DDR3 DIMMs, the chips can enable up to 1TB of storage in a four socket server and double that found in an eight socket product.

Intel claims the chips could hit speeds of 2.66GHz in Turbo Mode, with a slightly more modest average of 2.26GHz.

Intel has also introduced a number of new security features known as Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) features within the processor to help with fixing memory faults.

In addition to representatives from Dell and IBM, Intel also brought up Ken Robson from the investment bank Nomura UK, to sing the new chip's praises.

"The 7500 play has become important to us," he said. "We have seen significant performance improvement [of] around 30 per cent and payoff of latency reduction."

Poulin also couldn't resist revealing information on the next processor Intel is working on. He said that the "Westmere EX" codenamed processor will see the 45nm architecture of the 7500 shrunk down to 32nm.

Although he would not go into more detail, Poulin confirmed more information would be revealed in the next quarter.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.