The new servers are designed to run high-end enterprise applications including databases, as well as scientific applications, the companies said. The servers are faster, provide up to double the memory capacity and include improved RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) features for high server availability.
Intel said the Xeon E7 chips are up to 40 percent faster than their predecessors, the Xeon 7500 chips, which were eight-core processors launched last year. With 10 cores, the E7 chips include more cores than any other Intel processor. The E7 chips will also come in six- and eight-core variants, and operate at clock speeds between 1.73GHz and 2.4GHz.
The addition of more cores to E7 chips will bring more processing power to servers, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. E7 chips also bring scalability to servers with the ability to include more memory, which can total 2TB in servers.
Intel has also adopted some RAS and error-correction features that chip makers like IBM throw into high-end chips, Brookwood said. For example, Intel is providing simultaneous self-correction of up to two memory (DRAM) errors. These features are typically found on Itanium or RISC (reduced instruction set computing) chips, and are important for mission-critical servers.
"[Intel] wants to be able to compete at that feature and availability level," Brookwood said.