(Source: Getty Images)
"Nehalem" and "Westmere" variants

Intel's Core i7 was introduced in November last year to resounding cheers from the enthusiast community. Sales haven't been what Intel was hoping for, however, due to high platform costs and a slumping global economy.

The real money for Intel is in the server space, as Fortune 1000 companies and server farms will pay for performance. These customers will pay even more for power efficiency in order to reduce their cooling and power costs.

Intel is planning a series of Nehalem based server chips in order to further tap into this market. It will introduce a Xeon 5000 series of server chips, codenamed Nehalem-EP (Efficient Performance), supported by the Tylersburg-EP platform using Tylersberg chipsets. Targeted at the 2S (Dual Socket) market, it features four cores and second generation Hyper-Threading, enabling processing of eight threads. The first of these will be available at the end of March, to be supplanted in Q2 of 2010 by a Westmere variant.

In Q3, entry level Xeon 3000 series processors will be launched based on the Lynnfield lineup. It will use the Foxboro platform based on 5 series chipsets. These chips will be in production for several years, even alongside dual-core quad-thread Xeons based on 32nm Clarkdale CPUs that will be introduced in Q1 2010. The 3000 series will have on-die integrated graphics to save power.

The most profitable segment for Intel is in the 4S and 8S space. 7000 series Xeons with eight cores and capable of sixteen threads are targeted for the end of this year. Using the Nehalem-EX variant, it is built on the Boxboro-EX platform using Boxboro-EX chipsets. This is expected to be replaced at the end of 2010 by a 32nm Gulftown variant.

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