Yesterday, Intel released a new, faster version of its high-end Xeon processor that further distances the chip from its competition in the workstation market. The new Intel Xeon Processor 3.06GHz now features 1MB of Level 3 cache, up from 512KB in earlier versions of the chip. In addition to the added cache, a 533MHz system bus, Intel NetBurst microarchitecture, and Hyper-Threading Technology make the Xeon the fastest-performing workstation microprocessor on the planet. Intel says the chips are designed for one- and two-processor systems.
   "These larger-cache Intel Xeon processors deliver outstanding performance, price-performance, and value to customers," said Richard Dracott, group marketing director of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group. "Drop-in compatibility with existing Intel-based platforms also provides significant flexibility and extends the life of previous investments."
   Thanks to its expanded cache, the new Xeon processor experiences a 16 percent performance improvement over earlier versions, Intel says. Customers interested in the new chip can purchase it for $690 in volume, but earlier models that feature 512KB of Level 3 cache now cost just $455, a reduction of 34 percent.