A major competitor is, of course, Advanced Micro Devices, which earlier this year bought SeaMicro, a maker of highly dense servers, and is building servers with the Atom processor. AMD also recently announced plans for ARM processors.
When asked what advantage an ARM chip may have over the Atom chip, Andrew Feldman, former SeaMicro CEO and now general manager of AMD's Data Center Server Solutions group, said ARM chips will be "lower power, higher performance and lower cost."
The new Atom chip supports up to 8GB of RAM, which Feldman questioned, asking, "Why limit the part" to 8GB of RAM? But then he answered his own question: "You limit it because you want to defend your server business -- your Xeon chips."
While the world waits for 64-bit ARM, Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center and Connected Systems Group, said Intel will add more cores and integrate other capabilities into the chip.
"We will not hold back performance in any one of our product lines," said Bryant, during the press briefing. "We will put more cores down" and integrate other capabilities into the chip, she said.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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