Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp. are poised to launch new servers based on Intel Corp.’s latest dual-core Xeon processors.

The servers will use Intel’s new “Bensley” server platform, which supports the chip maker’s dual-core Xeon 5000 series, code-named “Dempsey,” which started shipping in March, and Xeon 5100 chips, code-named “Woodcrest,” expected to ship this month. The platform will also support Intel’s quad-core “Clovertown” chips slated to ship next year.

The new dual-core Xeons will replace Intel’s Paxville chips, which have struggled in the face of fierce competition from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Opteron processors. Intel says its forthcoming Woodcrest processor, which brings an architecture upgrade over Dempsey, will significantly boost power consumption and computing performance.

The Bensley platform also supports Intel’s virtualization technology, as well as its Fully-Buffered DIMM technology for more memory capacity. It also features its Active Server Manager technology to ease data centre management and its I/O Acceleration Technology to speed up application responsiveness and server input-output performance.

This month, HP will ship new servers based on the Bensley platform, including the ProLiant DL140, DL360 and DL380 rack-optimized servers, the HP ProLiant ML150, ML350 and ML370 tower servers and the HP ProLiant BL20p server blade. With the new servers, HP also enhanced management, networking, storage and power capabilities. For example, it added a new universal drive to its ProLiant servers using small Serial Attached SCSI disk drives. It also added the next iteration of its Integrated Lights-Out management system that allows administrators to manage ProLiant and BladeSystem servers through a Web browser. Pricing for the servers is not yet available.

This month, IBM will release three new System X servers based on the Bensley platform, which range in starting price from US$1,809 to $2,049.

Big Blue also extended its IBM PowerExecutive power management software for its System X servers. The PowerExecutive software, a free extension to IBM’s Director systems management software, lets administrators monitor power usage of servers.

Later this year, IBM will release a new version of the software that allows users to set a predefined power usage cap for a server or group of servers.

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