Gecko's CPU Library

Intel Xeon DP/MP (Foster) processors

Introduction: May 2001


The Xeon brand refers to many families of Intel's x86 multiprocessing CPUs - for dual-processor (DP) and multi-processor (MP) configuration on a single motherboard targeted at non-consumer markets of server and workstation computers, and also at blade servers and embedded systems. The Xeon brand has been maintained over several generations of x86 and x86-64 processors. Older models added the Xeon moniker to the end of the name of their corresponding desktop processor, but more recent models used the name Xeon on its own. The Xeon CPUs generally have more cache than their desktop counterparts in addition to multiprocessing capabilities. Intel's (non-x86) IA-64 processors are called Itanium, not Xeon.

The Foster core

In mid-2001, the Xeon brand was introduced ("Pentium" was dropped from the name). The initial variant that used the new NetBurst architecture, "Foster", was slightly different from the desktop Pentium 4 ("Willamette"). It was a decent chip for workstations, but for server applications it was almost always outperformed by the older Cascades 2MB core and AMD's Athlon MP. Combined with the need to use expensive Rambus Dynamic RAM, the Foster's sales were somewhat unimpressive.

At most two Foster processors could be accommodated in an SMP system built with a mainstream chipset, so a second version (Foster MP) was introduced with a 1MB L3 cache and the Jackson Hyper-Threading capacity. This improved performance slightly, but not enough to lift it out of third place. It was also priced much higher than the dual-processor (DP) versions. The Foster shared the 80528 product code with Willamette.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.