Intel releases 'Jasper Forest' Xeon chip

The C5500/C3500 chips can offload traditional storage functions such as RAID

Intel Corp. is now shipping its new Xeon processor, the C5500/C3500 series that will be used in communications, networking, embedded systems and data storage products.

Previously codenamed "Jasper Forest" the line of processors is paired with the Intel 3420 chipset and specifically designed to deliver increased computing density and integration.

For the first time, Intel has integrated a processor with PCI Express (PCIe), which has a throughput rate of 1GB/sec. Intel also put all input/output (I/O) functions onto a dual-processing Xeon chip, which the company believes will greatly facilitate dense storage and communications systems such as IPTV, On-Demand Video Services, VoIP, network-attached storage (NAS), storage area networks (SAN) and wireless radio network controllers.

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Intel's Xeon C5500/C3500 chip

"The integration of PCIe and key storage features, such as RAID acceleration and non-transparent bridging for high-availability failover, enables a wide range of systems on a common architecture with robust performance and thermal options," Seth Bobroff, general manager of Intel's Data Center Group for Storage, said in a statement.

Intel said the C3500/C5500 series maintains the performance of the Intel "Nehalem" chip architecture, but lowers system power consumption by 27 watts when compared to the Intel Xeon 5500 series chips used in data center servers.

"With the addition of the Intel Xeon two-chip solution, Intel is providing customers with superior processors to meet the needs of the rapidly shifting communications environment," Rose Schooler, general manager of the Performance Products Division of Intel's Embedded and Communications Group, said in a statement. "The communications and embedded market segments are demanding higher computing densities."

The C5500/C3500 processors are being offered with Intel's standard seven-year lifecycle support.

Intel also announced 11 equipment manufacturers that have unveiled products using the new Xeon processors. Those products include, the Caswell CAR-5000, a two-socket, 2U (3.5-in) rack mount network appliance intended for such high-performance networking applications; the Gigabyte GA-7JASV, an ATX size motherboard designed for networking servers and other communications systems; the Kontron AM5030, a double-wide, full-size AdvancedMC module designed for dense server environments deployed in storage, military/aerospace and communications networks; the Lanner FW-8910, a 2U rack mount dual-CPU appliance intended for the performance segment of the network security, Network Admission Control (NAC) and WAN acceleration market segments; and the Trenton JXT6966, a PICMG 1.3 System Host Board (SHB) for use in compute-intensive embedded, military/defense, medical imaging and communication system designs.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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