Intel preps Truland, Bensley Xeon platforms

Yes, it's 'servertrino'

IDF Spring 05 Intel has revealed a little more about its plans to extend its platform focus into the server market once it has rolled out its 'desktrino' desktop platform.

The chip giant today said it has two Xeon-class platforms planned. One, codenamed 'Bensley', is based on the Xeon DP, the other, designed to promote Xeon MP, is dubbed 'Truland'. Intel did not make the platforms' go-to-market branding public.

Truland will comprise 'Paxville', the 90nm dual-core Xeon MP slated to launch later this year, and its upcoming E8500 chipset (other Intel documentation refers to the E8850 chipset). Paxville is due to ship in Q1 2006. According to Intel, the platform will provide twin frontside buses, one for each Paxville core - a market contrast to Intel's desktop FSB approach and to that of other companies too. Typically, each core shares a single FSB. Not so Truland, which Intel claimed will offer "three times the bus bandwidth of today's MP platforms".

For greater reliability, Truland's system bus corrects errors using ECC.

Truland's chipset will also provide a quad-channel DDR 2 SDRAM bus, though the memory itself will only be clocked to 400MHz. Memory can be set to operate in a RAID-like mode, mirroring data to prevent data loss if a chip fails. Intel also said the platform will allow PCI Express I/O cards to be added and removed while the system is still powered up.

Bensley, meanwhile, is pitched at two-way servers and incorporates the E7520 chipset, formerly known by its codename, 'Blackford', and exclusively revealed by The Register in May 2004. Blackford will bring support for Intel's 1066MHz FSB to the platform, which also comprises the ESB2 South Bridge, 'Gilgal' Gigabit Ethernet chip and 'Sunrise Lake' I/O processor, Intel said.

The platform will bring Intel's fully-buffered DIMM memory system to server, along with support for Intel's I/O Acceleration Technology, Virtualisation Technology (formerly known as 'Vanderpool' and Active Management Technology. Intel also promised better power management than previous Xeon DP platforms have been able to offer.

Intel will offer a budget version of the platform, using the 'Blackford VS' 'value server' chipset.

Again, Bensley is set to ship in Q1 2006, when the 65nm 'Dempsey' dual-core Xeon DP arrives. Dempsey will also power 'Glidewell', Intel's dual-processor workstation platform. Glidewell also bundles a new chipset, the 1066MHz FSB-supporting 'Greencreek', which we also exclusively revealed last May. ®

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