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Intel readying Penryn server chips for November

A slip-up on Intel's Web site revealed a launch date for the next generation of the company's quad-core server processors.

Intel is telling its resellers to get ready for new server chips in November.

DailyTech spotted a pricing list on an unprotected Web page at Intel's Reseller Center that reveals seven Xeon processors with 12MB of cache memory are scheduled to launch on November 11. The thing is, Intel doesn't have any server chips with 12MB of cache memory right now.

But the chipmaker has already disclosed that its Penryn generation of processors will have up to 12MBs of cache memory, making it pretty clear what to expect in November. All Intel has said is that Penryn chips are expected to arrive in the second half of the year. An Intel representative said he could not comment on rumors, and though the Web page has been pulled from Intel's site, I did see a copy before it died.

Penryn server processors will be Intel's first processors built on its 45-nanometer manufacturing technology, and will arrive a few months after AMD's first quad-core server chip launches in September. Intel already ships quad-core server chips, but they don't have as much cache memory as the Penryn chips will have.

Cache memory stores frequently used data right on the chip next to the CPU, so the CPU doesn't have to leave the chip and reach out to system memory to find that data. The more memory, the more data you can store on-chip and the less often the CPU has to leave the chip, improving performance. This is especially important for Intel given its reliance on a front-side bus to handle that interaction between the CPU and the memory, AMD uses an integrated memory controller that provides a direct link to the memory bank.

A source familiar with Intel's plans said to expect the Penryn chips to arrive before Thanksgiving, but that the November 11 date might not be exact. Desktop and notebook chips based on the same design are expected to arrive in the weeks following that launch.