Intel Finds a Competitive Edge

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has launched the E5 Xeon processor, which will prove to be a very significant product line for the company and is expected to bring new performance to Intel-based servers and workstations.

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Intel announced the E5 line comes in two varieties, including an E5-2600 series for the mainstay of the server market for systems with two processor sockets, and the E5-1600 series chiefly for single-socket workstations. The Xeon chips will allow the chip maker to expand into storage and networking equipment.

Servers are proving to be growing market due to cloud computing, Internet business, and other work that requires these machines. The chips will also give Intel the competitive edge it needs to against rival ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) chips used in the majority of smartphones and tablets.

The chips are priced from $198 to $2,050 apiece in batches of a thousand, with more than 100,000 having shipped so far. The new chips come in a range of configurations with variations in built-in cache memory (10MB to 20MB), processing cores (2 to 8), power consumption (60 watts to 135 watts), and clock speed (1.8GHz to 3.6GHz). All of the chips are armed with a new basic design and are built with a 32-nanometer manufacturing process.

The E5’s energy efficiency is up to 50 percent better than previous Xeon models. Based on Advanced Vector Extensions, driven by the input-output improvements and new mathematical processing abilities, performance increased dramatically, as well. Intel also displayed new security features that bake encryption and decryption tasks into hardware, including the Advanced Encryption Standard New Instruction. Intel also announced the Ethernet Controller X540, a separate chip for 10Gbps networking. Intel predicts that the chip will make the faster networking an ordinary rather than premium feature.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Diallah Haidar at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at