New 4-Socket Xeon Targets Virtualization

Intel has unveiled its new 7300 and 7200 series Xeon processors as well as its new 7300 chipset today at a launch event in San Francisco. Previously known by their Tigerton and Clarksboro codenames, respectively, the 4-core and 2-core chips are designed for systems with 4 or more physical processors. The new chips also mark the final stage of Intel's transition to its Core micro-architecture, which allows for more power efficient chips than the previous NetBurst generation. The transition to the Core architecture has allowed Intel to close the gap with AMD in the performance per Watt metric, allowing the chipmaker to take back market share from AMD Opteron.

To further support migration of virtual workloads, the new chips also feature a new technology dubbed VT FlexMigration Assist. The technology allows virtualization software such as VMware ESX Server or Xen to move virtual workloads between physical processors and servers as they are running. Currently such technology requires that all servers offer the same micro-architecture. Intel's FlexMigration enables for the migration of workloads between the Core micro-architecture as well as future micro-architectures such as the ones that will be used in Intel's forthcoming 45-nanometer Penryn processors and future chips.

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