Intel plans to release next-generation Xeon workstation processors based on the Westmere microarchitecture in the next three months, the company said on Thursday. New workstations based on the chips -- including updated versions of Apple's Mac Pro, Dell's Precision 3500, 5500 and 7500, and HP's Z400, Z600 and Z800 -- are likely to follow

Intel plans to refresh its line of Xeon workstation chips as it ramps up chip production to the 32-nanometre process, said Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, during a financial earnings call. Intel last week released the first Westmere chips for desktops and laptops, and Xeon workstation chips are next in line, Otellini said.

The last refresh for server chips was in March last year, when the company announced a range of Xeon 5500 series and 3500 series chips based on the Nehalem architecture. The chips were made using the 45-nm process.

Westmere is based on the same underpinnings of the Nehalem architecture, but the chips are made using the advanced 32nm process, which should provide faster performance for creative applications

For example, the chip package will include an integrated graphics processor with the CPU in a multi-chip package. The high levels of integration will lead to smaller chip sizes that deliver better graphics and processing performance while consuming less power.