Intel Launches Eco-Friendly Chips - InformationWeek

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Intel Launches Eco-Friendly Chips

The Xeon processors substitute a hafnium-based high-k metal gate formula for halogen, a material that opponents say contributes to global warming.

Intel on Monday launched its first halogen-free Xeon processors, which the chipmaker says are more environmentally friendly than chips using halogen, a material that opponents say contributes to global warming.

The latest server processors are built using Intel's 45-nanometer manufacturing process, which gets higher performance-to-power ratios by shrinking the size of transistors to get more of the devices on a single chip. Halogen, used in building transistors, has been replaced with a hafnium-based high-k metal gate formula.

The latest processors include three quad-core products: X5492, X5470, and L5430. The fastest of the chips has a clock speed of 3.4 GHz, while the low-voltage version uses 50 watts of power per core. The fourth new processor is the X5270, which runs as low as 80 watts with frequencies as high as 3.5 GHz.

The chips are aimed at manufacturers of workstations, blade servers, and mainstream servers, and are drop-in compatible with existing Intel dual-processor platforms that have been in the market since 2006. "Customers using these new Xeon processors will not only benefit from greater performance and energy efficiency within existing platforms, but they will be the very first to use Intel's halogen-free technology," Kirk Skaugen, VP and general manager of Intel's server platforms group, said in a statement.

The new 5400-series processors are available now, while the X5270 is scheduled to ship in the fall. Prices in quantities of 1,000 are $562 for the 50-watt, 2.66-GHz L5430; $1,386 for the 120-watt, 3.33-GHz X5470; $1,493 for the 150-watt, 3.4-GHz X5492; and $1,172 for the 80-watt, 3.5-GHz X5270.

System vendors supporting the new processors include Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gigabyte, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microstar, NEC, Quanta, Rackable Systems, Sun Microsystems, Supermicro, Tyan, and Verari Systems.

Intel launched the latest chips less than two weeks before the expected launch of Dunnington, a six-core, 45-nm processor. Tom's Hardware reported that the Xeon 7400 is scheduled to ship Sept. 15 and will be compatible with Xeon 7300 boards.

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