Intel has started shipping new models of its Xeon E5 processors with products likely to come over the next few months, its CEO Brian Krzanich announced during an earnings call.

These will sport Haswell rather than the current Ivy Bridge technology, which is likely to bump performance significantly.

The new processors, codenamed Grantley, will replace the Romley family. Server processors usually get updated several quarters after their consumer siblings.

The Xeon E5 has been Intel's best selling server product, targetting the mid-range two to four-socket market, with the E3 and the E7 focusing on single socket and four sockets or more respectively.

All the big server manufacturers - Dell, Lenovo, HP - are expected to sell products based around the new E5. Perhaps the biggest differentiator is that it is only takes DDR4 memory, which means that a straight processor replacement is impossible.

Intel will face growing competition from AMD and a handful of other ARM-based manufacturers who seek to clinch a small portion of the server market both at the lower and high end.

But Intel won't stand still. It has already started to offer customization services to select customers and has unveiled plans to sell a Xeon chip with an FPGA component.

Via Computerworld