Chip giant Intel is pushing server makers to drop dual core products in favour of quad core alternatives, according to Andrew Bailey, a consultant with specialist server maker Stratus Technologies. The Intel move means firms like Stratus will struggle to differentiate their mid-range and high-end server offerings, at least until Intel begins shipping 6 core Dunnington chips and 8 core Nehalem chips, both expected later this year.
Dunnington chips are actually made of three dual core 45 nanometre Penryn processors and a shared 16MB L3 cach. Nehalem is a new microarchitecure that Intel says will scale from dual core to versions with more than eight cores.
Even now the price of quad core server chips has begun falling, so buyers may end up with powerful 4 core/dual socket servers for much the same price as they would have previously paid for 2 core/dual socket systems.