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Business place performance over energy efficiency

MANILA (06/20/2007) - While companies are increasingly focusing on the energy-efficiency of their data centres, most are still hungry for computing power.

William Wu, Intel's Asia Pacific marketing manager for the server platform group, told PC Advisor’s sister title – Computerworld Philippines - that companies are still "power-hungry" while there are just some who are "more conscious about utility bills”.

Trying to provide a balance between the need for performance and energy efficiency, Intel is pushing for data centre optimisation as an approach to energy efficiency while still offering good performance.

A 2006 study by the IDC cites that data centre density is increasing 15 percent annually and this is being driven by blade servers and multi-core processors. Adesh Gupta, Intel's Asia Pacific platform architecture manager for the server platform group, noted that blade server use is now growing extensively at 50 percent year-on-year as server consolidation is happening across segments. "Density is increasing as people begin to deploy more number and more numbers of blade servers," he said.

With Intel introducing new Quad Core Xeon models at 50W, customers who are increasingly concerned about reducing their electricity bills and cooling costs could get up to 60 percent decrease in energy consumption compared to the previous 80W and 120W models. Intel is introducing two low-voltage processors: the quad-core Intel Xeon L5320 (operating at 1.86GHz) and L5310 (operating at 1.60GHz) that both run on 1066 MHz front side buses.

The low-voltage versions of quad-core are targeted at blade servers, said Gupta, who identified financial service institutions as one of the industries likely to opt for the low power, more energy-efficient processors.

As of today, however, customers are finding the 80W model to be "just right" as they still need performance and power, while the 120W models are produced less, said Wu.

For customers who want maximum performance but are not as concerned about power consumption, the chip manufacturer is set to release a 3GHz model later this year. According to Wu, this is out of requests coming from the high-computing segment.

Also in the pipeline this year is its new generation of Xeons built with 45-nanometre manufacturing process, targeted to be released by the fourth quarter of this year. Codenamed Penryn, the 45nm processor family of products further shrinks transistors and power consumption as opposed to the exiting 65nm processors. (A nanometre is a billionth of a metre)

The company has more than 15 products based on 45nm in development across desktop, mobile, workstation, and enterprise segments.

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