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The Intel Xeon is the current generation of server-class microprocessors for PCs. The first Xeon processor was released in 1998 as the Pentium II Xeon. The Pentium II Xeon uses either a 440GX or 450NX chipset. In 2000, the P2-Xeon was replaced by the Pentium III Xeon. By 2001, the microprocessor upgrade to the P3-Xeon was simply called the Intel Xeon processor and introduced Intel's NetBurst technology along with the Intel 860 chipset. The latest addition to the Xeon family is the Xeon MP processor, released in 2002, which combined NetBurst with Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology.

Like Intel's standard x86/IA-32 family of consumer desktop PC processors, the Xeon line of processors are 32-bit and use CISC technology as opposed to RISC-based chips commonly used by proprietary Unix workstations.

With the arrival of the Itanium line of 64-bit (IA-64) microprocessors, the Xeon line will probably be slowly phased out. Currently, Xeon processors have backward compatibility with the large majority of PC applications as few new PC applications are yet written to take advantage of 64-bit microprocessors.

see also: List of Intel microprocessors

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