Next year Intel Corp will begin to bring out new versions of its newest Pentium II processor tailored for use in notebooks and four-way servers, but in the meantime it’s still enhancing up its two-year old Pentium Pro architecture, yesterday adding microprocessors supporting up to 1Mb second level cache. With 1Mb cache – up from 512Kb available on previous designs – Intel says that its highest performance processor for four-way systems will enable OEMs to create new systems suitable for higher-end OLTP and data warehousing applications. It expects servers using the 512Kb L2 cache processor systems will fill the market for $15,000-to-$50,000 devices supporting up to 150 users and for 1Mb L2 cache systems to take over from there. It says 12 OEMs have already committed to using the 1Mb L2 cache Pentium Pro in new systems due by year-end. The device is implemented as a three- chip set compared with the two-chip 512Kb iteration. It’s also costly, at $2,675 in quantities of 1,000-up compared with $1,035 for the 512Kb version in similar quantities. It’s packaged differently – as plastic multi-chip module rather than a sealed ceramic device – and is hotter, drawing 47W compared with the 512Kb’s 38W. The new chip accesses the cache at full 200MHz CPU core speed. Intel believes the sub-$15,000 market for workgroup servers doing email, groupware, intranets and file and print services is most appropriate for its new Pentium II, currently restricted to dual-processors. Intel says a four-way Hewlett- Packard server fitted with the 1Mb L2 Pentium pro performs 10,504 TPC-C transactions per minute; a six-way Unisys box does 12,026 TPC-C while a 24-way Sequent Computer ccNUMA server can support 5,400 users running Baan software.
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