Chips

Intel’s Truland Speeds Path To Dual-Core Systems

Intel’s newest platform offering, code-named “Truland,” is an evolutionary step in the established path toward dual-core processors and 64-bit architecture.

Truland, which comprises five different 64-bit Intel Xeon processors MP (multiprocessor) and the Intel E8500 chipset — codenamed Twin Castle — is faster than predecessors and offers some technical advances such as dual front-end BUS. However, from a buyer’s perspective, the release is not a significant advance, Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff told TechNewsWorld.

The platform is designed for servers with four or more processors. Previously, Intel had made the 64-bit extension available only in the Xeon DP for two-way servers.

Meeting Expectations

“In this age of rapid technological advances, we’re used to processors getting faster on a regular basis,” he said. “There’s a lot of technical underpinnings for how that performance is achieve, but it really doesn’t matter [to buyers].”

The platform is designed to be able to take advantage of Intel virtualization technology. Virtualization creates compartments within a single platform that can run more than one operating system.

One niche where Truland may stir some change is with companies outgrowing their two-way systems.

“From a high-level point of view, if somebody isn’t buying four-way Xeons, should they care about this? Maybe no and maybe yes,” he said.

From Two-Way to Four-Way

While two-ways vastly outsell four-ways, Haff said that with some price-performance tweaking from Intel, which has historically squeezed more profits from the four-way segment, it may be time for enterprises to consider moving up.

“If you’ve been just buying two-ways on the grounds that that’s what everybody buys, it may be worth your while to look at this one. If you’re running applications spread across a number of two-ways, you can cut down on the amount of servers you have to administer. You can consolidate using a four-way,” Haff said.

Truland also marks Intel’s move toward releasing “platform” combinations of processors and chipsets together as a package. The move makes sense since Intel is pretty much alone in the server chipset space and since the processor and server are designed to work together, they need to be released together, Haff said.

Internally, this model may help Intel coordinate its engineering schedule so that the processors and their chipsets are ready at the same time.

Intel said Truland targets applications such as supply chain management, enterprise resource management, customer relationship management and SME databases.

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