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Intel pitches Pentium M-based 'Sossaman' server chip

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Intel has confirmed it will use its upcoming 65nm Pentium M processor core as the foundation for a line of low-power server chips.

The 32-bit part, codenamed 'Sossaman', will be based on 'Yonah', the dual-core next-gen Pentium M due to ship late this year and to debut in new notebooks early in 2006.

Sossaman will consume 31W, said Intel Digital Enterprise Group marketing manager Stephen Thorne in an interview with EETimes. It will ship some time in H1 2006, he added.

Intel's server roadmap has 'Paxville' and 'Dempsey' dual-core Xeons down for release in Q1 2006, the former aimed at multi-way machines, the latter at dual-processor boxes. Paxville will be fabbed at 90nm, Dempsey at 65nm. 'Tulsa' will follow later next year and bring the Xeon MP line into the 65nm era.

Further out, Intel will transition to the multi-core chips 'Whitefield' and 'Woodcrest', future MP and DP parts, which may be the chip giant's first server processors with their own on-board memory controller, part of the company's move to develop a single system logic platform for both Xeon and Itanium.

Thorne said Intel is not planning to offer low-power versions of Woodcrest or Dempsey. Presumably that's a role Sossaman and its successors - in the first place, 'Merom', the follow-up to Yonah - will take on.

He did say that the chip giant is intentionally shifting to a three-tier Xeon product line, with high-end parts sold on their performance, mid-range chips touted for rack-mount servers and the low-power parts for blades and other dense servers.

To an extent Intel already segments the market this way, and indeed has offered its Pentium III and PIII-derived Pentium M chips as server processors. However, such 'under the counter' efforts have been primarily targeted at vertical markets, such as telcos. Now, according to Thorne, the products are coming out onto the company's store shelves. ®

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