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Intel brings forward 90nm dual-core Xeons

Have the 65nm versions been delayed?

Intel has confirmed claims made last week that it plans to bring forward the release of dual-core Xeon processors.

Describing development work on the chips as running "ahead of schedule", the chip giant last night said 'Paxville', the 90nm dual-core Xeon MP part will ship "later in 2005" instead of Q1 2006, as originally roadmapped.

More interestingly, Intel also said it would ship a Xeon DP part based on Paxville later this year too. The Xeon DP line was scheduled to go dual-core in H1 2006 with the release of 'Dempsey', the first 65nm Xeon chip.

The decision to shoehorn in a 90nm dual-core Xeon DP part suggests Intel feels it needs to get dual-core server parts out the door sooner rather than later and that it can't afford to wait for the arrival of 65nm technology. AMD's successful dual-core Opteron launch has clearly got its arch-rival worried. Intel wants to get product out there to ensure that IT managers evaluating dual-core server products don't have only AMD kit to look at.

The move may also suggest potentially release-delaying issues with Intel's 65nm process, not that Intel's announcement last night said as much, though it wouldn't would it? Even if the process is not running behind schedule, the arrival of the 'Paxville DP' part will give the company a little breathing room to perfect it.

Paxville is expected to be branded the Xeon 7000 line, while Paxville DP will presumably ship as the Xeon 5000 series, as Dempsey is expected to be. ®

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