Intel gears up for AMD's Barcelona launch with a slew of new quad-core CPUs

Hot on the heels of the second generation Intel Core 2 Duo launch, an internal memo began making the rounds with Intel's 45nm Xeon core frequencies. 

These 45nm Xeons, based on the Penryn generation of processors, also feature the 1333 MHz front-side bus found on the new Core 2 Duo stepping.  Each die features 6MB of L2 cache -- giving the two dice quad-core Harpertown Xeons a total of 12MB of L2 cache

45nm Quad-Core Xeons
FSB L2 Cache
X54603.16 GHz 120W1333 MHz
E54503.00 GHz 80W 1333 MHz
2.83 GHz 80W 1333 MHz
E54302.66 GHz 80W 1333 MHz
2.50 GHz 80W 1333 MHz
E54102.33 GHz 80W 1333 MHz
??? 80W???
L54302.66 GHz 50W 1333 MHz
2.33 GHz 50W 1333 MHz

Unlike the desktop roadmap, dual-core Xeons take a more auxiliary role.  Intel only laid out plans for three dual-core SKUs at launch; one of which is a low-power CPU.  These dual-core 45nm processors, dubbed Wolfdale, will only consist of a small amount of shipped 45nm Xeon processors.

Intel also uses the Wolfdale codename to describe dual-core 45nm desktop offerings.

45nm Dual-Core Xeons
FSB L2 Cache
E52603.33 GHz 65W1333 MHz
E52051.86 GHz 65W 1066 MHz
3.16 GHz 40W 1333 MHz

One Intel engineer, who asked to not be named, claimed this focus on quad-core is a typical reaction to the market in general.  "In the server space, there isn't much need for dual-core when we can go quad ... If your [applications] are threaded, there's no reason to use two cores when four are available."

Intel did not release pricing on the new Xeons, but comparable 65nm CPUs are expected to get as low as $266 over the next few weeks when Intel officially cuts prices on all its existing dual and quad-core processors.

The next-generation AMD Barcelona family is expected to directly compete with the Intel 45nm quad-core Xeons.  AMD is expected to launch Barcelona in the last week of August, with top-out frequencies of 2.0 GHz.

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