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Promise ventures into Jasper Forest

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Promise Technology is going to use Intel's Jasper Forest processors in forthcoming storage array products.

The Jasper Forest enhanced Nehalem is now called the C5500 or C3500 processor. There are one, two and four core options, with 23 to 85 watt power needs, available in uni-processor and dual-processor configurations (single or dual sockets).

The aim is to reduce the system's power draw and increase performance-per-watt by integrating I/O functions into the processor chip. Intel says its new technology delivers almost twice as much performance-per-watt as the previous Xeon 5400 and within the same thermal design envelope.

The C5500/C3500 series products have, with the integrated I/O hub, 16 PCIe generation 2 lanes per core. These can be configured in various port combinations: a single x16 port, two x8 ports, etc. It also has the ablity to set-up disks in an array into RAID 5 and RAID 6 configurations. A separate 3420 chipset is needed for Fibre Channel and Ethernet communications though.

The C5500/C3500 products also have asynchronous DRAM self-refresh, which helps save DRAM contents if there is a power failure, and non-transparent bridging (NTB). This enables high speed connectivity between one Xeon-based platform and another, or to any other processor at all supporting PCIe.

Intel says: "With non-transparent bridging and I/O integrated on the CPU, you no longer need your I/O hub, bridge and custom ASIC, potentially bringing your total board chip count down from five to just two."

Intel has a C5500/C3500 platform brief (pdf). The processors have been sampling with potential OEMs for some months and product announcements can be expected later this year from Intel-using storage array vendors such as HP, Promise and others.

Promise said it will "use the Intel Xeon platform to deliver higher value products with additional software that supports far superior enterprise class features like storage virtualization, replication, unified storage and latest high throughput storage protocols like 6Gbit/s SAS, 8Gbit/s FC, 10Gbit/s iSCSI and FCoE". ®

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