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HP likely to upgrade Xeon servers Tuesday

Hewlett-Packard, the leader when it comes to selling more units and generating more revenue than competitors in the x86 server market, likely will introduce new four-processor models with Intel's latest 64-bit Xeon chips on Tuesday.

Pat Gelsinger, one of two senior vice presidents in charge of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, will join a gaggle of executives from IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Unisys at a for a Tuesday announcement in San Francisco. Intel and HP are mum about the details, but new Xeon servers are a strong likelihood.

For one thing, Dell announced new server models with the Xeons Wednesday, and earlier in March IBM did the same. For another thing, Intel itself said in February the new Xeon servers were imminent.

Intel has two versions of Xeon MP, "Potomac" and "Cranford," for servers with four or more processors. (MP stands for multiprocessor; chips used in such higher-end servers require more high-speed cache memory than the less expensive Xeon DP models designed for dual-processor servers.)

The chips are the first MP models to incorporate 64-bit features, which speed some programs and make it easy to use more than 4GB of memory. Intel is catching up to Advanced Micro Devices with the 64-bit support. Potomac comes with 8MB of cache, the most ever for an x86 processor so far and a major factor in the price of the chip.

HP uses Cranford and Potomac predecessors in its four-processor ProLiant DL580 and eight-processor DL760 models.