Intel's Xeon processor line is a strong server chip collection, and a large one too, but it isn't exactly suited for all sorts of configurations, particularly microservers. Thus, Chipzilla has launched a different set of CPUs for them.
Microservers are the sort of computer systems that act as primary hubs for home and small office networks.
They are usually much weaker than the desktop PCs and laptops connected to the same networks as them. They only need to provide a unified Internet connection after all, and maybe back up data.
Power efficiency is an important factor here, which is why Intel has released the Atom S series of central processing units.
There are three chips, called Atom S1220, Atom S1240 and Atom S1260.
All of them are dual-core models with a TDP (thermal design power) of under 10W. One of them works on 6.1 watts. It is the first 6-watt server-class processor ever made actually, according to the company.
The first of the three has a maximum clock speed of 1.6 GHz, 1 MB of cache memory (L2), supports Hyper-Threading (two physical cores become four logical cores) and a TDP of 8.1W.
The Atom S1240 is the all-important 6.1W CPU, but is otherwise identical to the one above.
That leaves the Atom S1260, which is the strongest (up to 2.0 GHz clock speed) but has the highest TDP as well, of 8.5W.
All three newcomers support 64-bit instructions, up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory and eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes (no PCI Express 3.0).
Finally, the price of the Atom S CPUs, or rather SoCs (system-on-chip devices), is of as low as $54 / 41.54-54 Euro.
In 2013, Intel will launch the Avoton Atoms (with up to eight cores each). Later, in 2014, 14nm low-power Xeon chips will pick up their mantle.