Intel would not comment on the chip, but sources close to the company said that a version of Nocona for two-processor servers will come out June 28. Other versions of Nocona are expected to come out later.
Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report, said the chip will likely run at 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz since it is based on the same basic chip as Prescott, a desktop processor that came out in February.
"This is just a slightly better-tested version of Prescott," he said.
Most current Intel and AMD chips can run only 32-bit software, which means they digest data in 32-bit chunks. One of the chief limitations of these chips is that they pull data from just 4GB of memory. That's not a problem in desktops--high-end machines come with only 1GB and likely won't feature 4GB for a few years--but server makers have been complaining about the memory ceiling.
The 32/64-bit functionality of Nocona and Opteron are similar. Tom Halfhill, an analyst at Microprocessor Report, has even asserted that Intel patterned part of its technology after AMD's. Whether Intel borrowed or not, ameans the chip giant does not have to pay royalties to its competitor.
Still, the chips aren't identical. Opteron comes with an integrated memory controller and links to other components through so-calledlinks. Together, these features can boost performance by 10 percent to 15 percent, according to AMD.
By contrast, Intel's server chips sport a technology callednot found in AMD's chips that allows a processor to run two applications at once.