Intel unveils high-performance, highly secure data center processor

intelxeon5600Santa Clara, Calif. — Intel Corp. has unveiled its latest data center processor, the Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series that combines high security, performance and energy efficiency. The new processors feature two new security features — Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) — that enable faster encryption and decryption performance for more secure transactions and virtualized environments, delivering a stronger foundation for cloud security, said Intel.

In addition the 5600 series marks the first server and workstation chips based on the new Intel 32-nm logic technology, which uses Intel’s second-generation high-k metal gate transistors to increase speed and decrease energy consumption. The Intel Xeon Processor 5600 series supports up to six cores per processor and delivers up to 60 percent greater performance than the 45-nm Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. As a result, data centers can replace 15 single-core servers with a single new one, and achieve a return on their investment in as little as 5 months, said Intel.

Other benefits include the chips’ power efficiency. A two-socket server using the new low-voltage Intel Xeon processor L5640 can deliver the same performance as a server using the previous generation Intel Xeon processor X5570 series, but with up to 30 percent lower platform power.

The Intel AES-NI is a new set of instructions first introduced with the new 2010 Intel Core processor family. Intel said these instructions accelerate AES performance to enable faster data encryption and decryption for a wide range of applications such as database encryption features, full disk encryption and secure internet transactions.

Intel TXT provides added security for cloud environments by enabling a more secure platform launch environment, along with providing more protection for applications that move between virtualized servers. Hardware-based capabilities integrated into the processor shield against malicious software to allow important applications and data to run more securely in a virtualized environment, said Intel.

These security features are said to ensure that virtualized environments experience better performance and functionality, and are more secure when they are launched, migrated or at rest.

The frequency-optimized quad-core version of the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series peaks at 3.46 GHz with a TDP of 130 watts, while the six-core version reaches 3.33 GHz with a TDP of 130 watts. Intel said advanced six-core versions will top out at 2.93 GHz and TDP of 95 watts, and the standard quad-core processor will reach 2.66 GHz at 80 watts. Low-voltage versions will have TDPs as low as 60 watts and 40 watts and feature six and four cores, respectively.

Intel also announced the availability of the Intel Xeon processor L3406 series, targeted for use in the single processor micro server segment. The chips offer a TDP of only 30 watts, making it suitable for high-density form factors and power-sensitive environments.

Achieving 12 new world records for two-socket servers and workstations, the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series is said to enable outstanding energy-efficient performance and establish a new SPECpower_ssj2008 record for a single-node server and a multi-node server. Click here for more detailed information about performance results.

Intel also announced the launch of three processors for the embedded computing segment, including the first six-core processors, the Intel Xeon E5645 and L5638, the quad-core L5618 and E5620 processors, and the Intel Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition, the company’s first 32-nm, six-core processor with 12 computing threads for client applications.

Pricing: The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series ranges in price from $387 to $1,663 in quantities of 1,000. The E5645, L5638 and L5618 embedded processors are priced at $958, $958 and $530, respectively, in quantities of 1,000. The Intel Core i7-980X is priced at $999 in quantities of 1,000. All currently shipping Intel Server Boards and Systems that support the previous-generation Intel Xeon processor 5500 series also support the Intel Xeon processor 5600 Series.
Resources: Intel Xeon processor 5600 processor series and Intel Core i7-980X.