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Oct 11, 2011

Intel Plans Ivy Bridge Xeon E3 CPUs for 2012 Release

Together with the consumer version of the Ivy Bridge processors, Intel will also release a series of Xeon E3 chips that will be based on this 22nm architecture, which are expected to launch at about the same time as their desktop counterparts.

The Ivy Bridge Xeon processors will make part of the Carlow platform that will also include the C216 chipset, also known under the code name of Panther Point.

The upcoming Xeon E3-1200 v2 CPUs will utilize the same LGA 1155 socket as the current Sandy Bridge-based server chips, but for now the specs of the processors are still unknown.

Intel's Ivy Bridge processors are a die 22nm shrink of the Sandy Bridge chips and feature the same architecture which will receive a series of improvements.

In the consumer version of the architecture, these improvements include a better GPU with DirectX 11 support as well as 30% more EUs than the HD 3000 GPU used in the current second generation Core processors.

Other CPU features include better AVX performance, an integrated PCI Express 3.0 controller as well as native USB 3.0 support thanks to the Panther Point chipsets, that are expected to enter mass production in the final week of December 2011.

Right now, we don't known which of these features will head towards the Xeon E3 CPU lineup, but it's highly unlikely that the massively improved graphics core will make its appearance in more than a few E3-1200 v2 processors.

In the current version of the Xeon E3, only four out of the nine processors released by Intel come with integrated graphics support. On a plus side, all the chips support ECC memory, which is also expected to happen with the Ivy Bridge CPUs.

According to CPU-World, the second version of the Xeon E3 server processor line is expected o arrive in March or April of 2012, together with the consumer Ivy Bridge processors.


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