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High-end Xeon goes quad-core with 'Tigerton'

Intel takes on AMD's last Opteron stronghold with quad-core Xeon 7300 for multiprocessor servers.

As expected, Intel on Wednesday announced its Xeon 7300 line of quad-core chips, models geared for higher-end servers with four or more processors.

Tom Kilroy, general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, shows a new Quad-Core Xeon 7300 series processor, code-named Tigerton, at a press event in San Francisco Wednesday. Intel

The processors will range in frequency from a 2.93GHz for a 130-watt model to 1.86GHz for a 50-watt high-efficiency model. Intel also will offer an intermediate 80-watt class, the company said. Prices will range from $856 to $2,301 in quantities of 1,000.

The chips, code-named Tigerton, bring Intel's Core architecture to high-end x86 servers, replacing the last of the Netburst lineage. Netburst's eventual power consumption problems opened the door for Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron family, but Intel has reclaimed many of its market share losses with the higher performance and lower power consumption of the Core line.

Accompanying Tigerton is a new platform for high-end servers called Caneland that speeds up communications between chips and memory, a key bottleneck in computers in general. At the heart of the platform is the Intel 7300 chipset, which links the processor with other parts of the system.

AMD has been punished this year by Intel's resurgence, a six-month delay of its Barcelona quad-core processor and other problems, but it couldn't resist carping on Wednesday about Tigerton's memory system and the fact that it's made of two dual-core chips squeezed into a single package. Barcelona's approach, with four cores on one slice of silicon, might well offer some advantages, but given how much hay Intel has made with lower-end quad-core chips that use the two-plus-two approach, boasting about "native" quad core sure sounds like nitpicking.