Intel Silicon Breakthrough Speeds Server, Network Responsiveness

Microsoft to Support Intel® I/O Acceleration Technology In Future Windows* Server Releases

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, SAN FRANCISCO, March 1, 2005 - Intel Corporation today provided the first glimpse of a set of silicon technologies that speed the interaction between network data and server applications by up to 30 percent. Intel also announced an agreement with Microsoft to support the technology in forthcoming operating systems.

The breakthrough, known as Intel® I/O Acceleration Technology (I/OAC), is Intel's newest "*T" technology, a collection of premier silicon innovations. The technology comes at a time when the demands of applications - such as Web commerce, messaging, storage and server clustering - are beginning to chronically overwhelm servers' responsiveness and the ability to deliver network data to applications quickly and reliably.

"Intel I/OAT demonstrates the advancements that are possible when a problem is approached from a platform perspective," said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president, Intel Digital Enterprise Group. "The benefit to end users is better performance, particularly on transaction applications, such as Web commerce or electronic banking, while businesses benefit from reduced cost of ownership and improved ability to grow the system."

While server CPU performance and network bandwidth has improved over the years, the primary method for moving data has not changed. Today, the processor in a server shoulders the total burden of processing, accessing memory and making protocol computations on every piece of data or packet. As a result, much of the processor's operation is diverted and response time, reliability and the end-users' experience can suffer.

Intel I/O Acceleration Technology takes a platform approach to addressing this problem by breaking up the data-handling job among all of the components that make up the platform - the processor, chipset, network controller and software. This platform approach reduces the workload on the processor while accelerating the flow of data. The processor's job is reduced by giving the chipset and network controller responsibility for moving data in and out of memory. Intel also optimized the TCP/IP protocol - an open "etiquette" that enables all types of computers to exchange data via a common language - for Intel-based servers, which cuts the processor's workload in half,. further freeing it to work on other jobs.

Overall, this platform approach achieves at least a 30 percent faster data exchange between the platform and applications, and enables the processor to spend more time on other computing tasks.

The platform approach behind Intel I/OAT also remedies inadequacies in existing technologies, such as TCP offload engines (TOE), designed to offload the processor of TCP/IP processing. TOE dedicates a specialized and costly chip to offload the protocol computation, but it does not fully address system overhead or memory access, the two largest burdens on the CPU. As a result, TOE is effective only when packets payloads are large, such as those in high-performance database and data-warehousing applications.

Microsoft Pledges Support
Microsoft will provide native support for Intel I/OAT in future Windows Server releases. Those releases also will include technology that balances network TCP/IP traffic streams across multi-core CPUs.

"Our customers have been telling us that they want to have better application response time on the Windows server platform," said Jawad Khaki, corporate vice president, Networking and Device Technologies at Microsoft. "We are excited to support Intel I/OAT architecture in Windows Server. Server application performance will be improved by enabling Windows to take advantage of the faster data movement Intel I/OAT provides. Also, by balancing network data streams across multiple CPU cores, scalability of the Windows server platform will be further enhanced, which will be an important capability to many customers."

Intel I/OAT is the newest in Intel's family of premier silicon platform technologies, known as "*T" technologies, that will deliver new and improved computing capabilities for home and business users, and IT managers. Other Intel *Ts include Intel® Active Management Technology (management), La Grande Technology (security), Extended Memory 64 technology (memory addressability), and Intel® Virtualization Technology (virtualization), all of which are available today or under development.

Storage Acceleration
Last month, Intel introduced a storage feature of Intel I/OAT that enables RAID-6 storage acceleration. The RAID-6 acceleration technology enables a system to operate at the highest performance levels possible, even when recovering from multiple disk failures. This storage acceleration capability provides Intel I/OAT with faster throughput and increased reliability for data as it moves in and out of hard disk drives. While the new TCP/IP data handling functionality of Intel I/OAT will not be available until forthcoming platform introductions, the storage feature was recently introduced on the new Intel® IOP333 storage processor.

About IDF
Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.


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