San Francisco: Intel on Monday rolled out its first chip with six brains, unveiling a “multi-core” microprocessor that boosts computing muscle while cutting back on electricity use.
The world’s leading computer chip maker’s new Xeon 7400 series microprocessor is tailored for businesses that want to boost server performance while conserving on space and energy.
Intel executives say the Xeon 7400 is part of an “incremental migration” toward chips with limitless numbers of “cores” that seamlessly and efficiently share demanding computer processing tasks.
Intel and rival Advanced Micro Devices have two-core and four-core chips on the market.
The six-core chip delivers 50% more performance than its quad-core predecessor while using 10% less electric power, according to Intel enterprise group vice president Tom Kilroy.
Electricity and cooling expenses can account for nearly half the cost of running company computer servers.
“It isn’t just performance and energy efficiency but the use models,” Kilroy said of the boon promised by increasingly powerful chips. “One of the major ones is virtualization.”
Multi-core chips are boons to computing trends including high-definition video viewing online; businesses offering services applications on the Internet; and single servers running many “virtual” machines.
“There is a realization that we will be able to bring things to market that weren’t feasible four years ago,” MySpace vice president of technical operations Richard Buckingham said while discussing the new chip’s potential.
MySpace is among a growing number of Internet companies using “virtualization” to essentially multiply the usefulness of computing hardware with software that creates simulated computers complete with operating systems.
Multi-core chips basically allow computers to divvy up tasks to work on simultaneously instead of having a single powerful processor handle a job in a linear style from start to finish.
Dell, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Unisys and Fujitsu are among the computer makers building the new Xeon 7400 chips into servers designed for business networks, according to Intel.