Xeon 5500 – 30 Days and Counting…

My name is Steve Thorne, and this is my first blog post in The Server Room. I’m the product line manager for the Intel Xeon processor 5000 family, and I’m based out of our Hillsboro, Oregon facility. I’ve been looking forward to this blog post for quite some time, since I’ve been meeting with a wide variety of customers over the past few weeks.

It’s been just over a month since we introduced the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series (the processor formerly known as “Nehalem-EP”). We are certainly pleased with the response from the industry at this point. Below you will see some of my observations about what has transpired over the first 30 days of release. At the same time, I invite you to share some of your stories about recent installations of the Xeon 5500. Where is it being used? What kind of environments are you using it in? What kind of improvements have you observed in your deployments?

The industry response has been extremely encouraging to me. Our marketing teams spent more than three years diligently preparing for the successful introduction. Some of my observations from the first month include:

·         The list of vendors that support the Xeon 5500 continues to grow. We started with over 70 system manufacturers on March 30, 2009. And on April 14, 2009, Sun Microsystems introduced a new line of x64 blade servers, rack servers and workstations powered by the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. Of particular interest is the Sun Blade X6275 server module. You can find more info at: http://www.sun.com/solutions/hpc/compute.jsp.

·         I attended our launch event in Santa Clara on March 30, 2009. While at the event, I was pleasantly surprised by the adulation from the customers who were in attendance. In particular, our friends in the Digital Content Creation (DCC) industry are eager to apply the capabilities of the Xeon 5500 for movie special effects and animated features. Being a father of three school age children, I’ve always been fond of our products’ role in the moviemaking process. It’s fun to take your kids to the theater and show them a concrete example of how these incredibly complex processors are used to generate chuckles and special effects in movies ranging from “Cars” to “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

·         Positive recognition has been accorded to the Xeon 5500 from a wide variety of independent press reviewers and articles. A recent internet search revealed almost 875 news references. Recently, George Ou of DailyTech published an interesting article titled “Server roundup: Intel “Nehalem” Xeon versus AMD “Shanghai” Opteron”. You can read the entire article at: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=15036

·         On May 4, 2009 two independent financial analysts upgraded Intel Corp. stock. Both analysts attributed part of their positive outlook to the introduction and ramp of Xeon 5500 servers.

·         On April 8, 2009 the new Xeon 5500 was a centerpiece of our IDF event in Beijing. In his enterprise key note, Pat Gelsinger said the “Nehalem” microarchitecture has received worldwide acclaim.

·         Customer deployments are underway at leading data centers around the globe – particularly in High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. The HPC accounts encompass university research labs, commercial research and development and large scale clusters. These HPC customers are pushing the outer limits of scientific discovery and innovation, and the best examples are yet to come!

Personally, I was proud to be a part of the introduction of the Xeon 5500. There is a strong sense of satisfaction when the silicon is deployed in real-world environments. And in case you hadn’t heard, we are busy getting ready for the next addition to the Xeon family, codenamed “Westmere-EP.” We expect this new 32nm processor to be socket and pin-compatible with the Xeon 5500, and it will stretch the processor to support six individual CPU cores per socket. Stay tuned for this release in 2010!