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Intel plans to ship one million quad-core CPUs before AMD ships one

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger today at IDF2006 stated Intel is set to ship one million quad-core processors before AMD even ships one. This isn’t too surprising as Intel is set to release Kentsfield and Clovertown processors next month for enthusiast gamers, workstations and server markets.

AMD on the other hand has no plans to ship its quad-core Deerhound Socket F processors until late next year, giving Intel quite a long head start.   Earlier this year, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz claimed the company would demonstrate its quad-core architecture this year.  In August of this year, AMD publically announced that the company has taped out its native quad-core CPU. Traditionally AMD ships its processors a year after taping out.

Intel's quad-core Kentsfield has already been benchmarked by DailyTech and found to scale very well in multi-threaded applications. There’s an approximate 2x performance increase without consuming too much more power.

The quad-core Kentsfield processor will ship as the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 followed by the lower clock Core 2 Quad Q6600 that will ship in the first half of next year. Intel is also expected to ship its Kentsfield Xeon 3200 series quad-core processors the first half of next year as well. The quad-core Clovertown Xeon 5300 series processor is expected next month around the same time as the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 launch.

Intel’s upcoming 45nm products are expected to arrive the second half of 2007 as well.


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SMP with Core
By hellokeith on 9/27/2006 1:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is an SMP-capable "Core" processor. Will any Core processors be compatible with the new Apple dual-socket motherboards? How about pc workstation grade motherboards with dual sockets?

Seems all the SMP-capable Xeon's are still based on Netburst, and I see no evidence Core 2 Duo or Quad can do SMP.




RE: SMP with Core
By therealnickdanger on 9/27/2006 1:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure the new Mac Pros are SMP C2Ds.


RE: SMP with Core
By obeseotron on 9/27/2006 2:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
Mac Pros are SMP Woodcrest Xeons, more or less identical to core 2 duos, except they are qualified for SMP.


RE: SMP with Core
By deeznuts on 9/27/2006 1:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
Huh? The new xeon's are woodcrest. I believe these were out before the conroes, and are smp-capable.


RE: SMP with Core
By FITCamaro on 9/27/2006 5:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
Woodcrest I believe is still only for 2 processor systems though. For 4 and 8 way, its still Netburst based Xeons. But yes, Woodcrest is the same as C2D except for dual processor capable, 1333MHz FSB, and dual inline FSBs (i think. maybe thats what quad cores will have).


RE: SMP with Core
By peldor on 9/27/2006 1:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Then you've completely missed that thing called Woodcrest that debuted a month before Conroe. It wasn't a stealth release. I don't know how you could miss it.

It's still marketed under the Xeon name, the 5100 series.

As for the dual-socket Macs, they use Woodcrest too. Says so right on Apple's product page.


RE: SMP with Core
By miahallen on 9/27/2006 4:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
Which rock have you been hiding under? WAKE UP!


What are we going to do with 4 cores?
By adholmes on 9/27/2006 1:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
There was a lot of debate with dual-core processors about what types of improvements we'd see with them in the short term. Until more multi-threaded apps came out, the gains over a similarly clocked single-core processor were minimal. Why have I not heard anybody ask what are we going to do with 4 cores? While there are far more multi-threaded apps now than when dual-core came out, there aren't enough to justify a 4-core machine right now. I don't think the average user is going to see an improvement with these. The server market, workstations and gamers will all love them, but I get the feeling that most of the time those extra cores will sit idle. This situation will only get worse as they keep pumping out extra cores on this advanced schedule. 8 and 16 core machines in a few years, I'm sure! Where's the killer app?




RE: What are we going to do with 4 cores?
By Thorburn on 9/27/2006 1:57:23 PM , Rating: 3
The real advantage of multi-core processing comes in the immediacy of response.

Remember the first time you used a dual core processor and did something REALLY intensive, and then noticed how you could still carry on other tasks like normal with minimal performance degradation. Now do LOTS of intensive tasks at once.

Your mileage will vary depending on how you personally work on your PC and the kind of applications you use, but when you step up the ladder you won't want to go back.


By FITCamaro on 9/27/2006 5:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree with that for sure. On my C2D system I can have SETI@Home maxing out both cores and still have a pretty responsive system. I wonder if it will have crashed by the time I get home since its set to run continuously....


RE: What are we going to do with 4 cores?
By JeffDM on 9/27/2006 2:07:13 PM , Rating: 4
I can probably say that most people don't even take advantage of their computer's 3D capabilities. But they get it because the technology trickles down to the point that it doesn't cost any money to keep it in the chip. It may eventually be used to offer more intuitive 3D user interfaces, and it helps stuff like Google Earth too.

The quad core chips will go to the high end users. The types that are are editing or encoding video, making DVDs, editing audio and other media authoring tasks. Then there are the supercomputer clusters, CAD design, 3D rendering & render farms. I don't know if all of these uses combined will net 1M chips in the time frame given, which is about six months.

By the time it trickles down to the consumer, I would expect more consumer programs to be multi-processor aware. But still, the people that only watch videos, edit text, work on spreadsheets (unless they are HUGE) really don't need much of dual core, much less a quad.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/27/2006 2:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
Well what intel is getting at is "shipped". Intel will start shipping probably in the next week or so, and selling them in October. Now the trick here is that the Q6600 is a quad-core chip and it works on the majority of current C2D boards, I know my Asus P5W DH already supports it, so if I decide I want to plop one into my rig in December just for kicks I can. I think you will see a fair number of people jump on this, for 500 bucks (atleast thats what im hearing for launch of Q6600) anyone with a 975X board, and a few of the 965 and nVidia chipsets, can plop in a quad-core anytime. Apple will be all over this, their MacPro PC has already been tested up at anandtech to work with 2 quad-core chips in there, so we can expect Apple to roll out a new top of the line MacPro model using two quad-core chips. For Intel (Who has excellent manufacturing, and process capabilities) this is a drop in the bucket. The switch to quad-core isnt a big deal since they are using two dual-core dies on the same chip socket. It's more of an evolution of dual-core conroe, which is fine and dandy, we can expect a unified quadcore around the same time as AMD or slightly after. But the last time I checked the unified Quad-Core was going to be for the 45nm Shrink late in '07, which is fine since that gives Intel space back to buffer it with large amounts of cache to get around saturating the bus.

Either way Intel is really throwing its weight around right now, AMD is slower to switch gears mostly due to limited manufacturing capacity, but also because Intel's process technology is always like two generations ahead of its CPU lines. I saw a paper two months back that solves some transistor leakage they were running into with on 32nm and 22nm shrinks, and they are currently producing test samples of 32nm chips. Seriously, AMD is still trying to get on top of a 45nm shrink and plan that out, where as Intel is putting the final touches on 45nm and their R&D division is going buck wild with 32nm process technology. While Intel's chips might not have always been the greatest, their process technology has been way out in front of other chip makers for decades.


intel sure can change course in a hurry
By ElFenix on 9/27/2006 1:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
intel has ridiculous manufacturing capabilities. i guess when you're a year or two ahead of everyone else in that aspect, it isn't as hard to respond to market conditions. now that they've finally got the engineering up to par, i'm not sure where the hole in the armor is.




By therealnickdanger on 9/27/2006 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 1
I think it's just that too many people give Intel too little credit, assuming that they are too large to be nimble. Intel is like Goliath with David's reflexes...


RE: intel sure can change course in a hurry
By DallasTexas on 9/27/2006 1:47:34 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your points as Intel does have a significant edge in lithography and manufacturing. They are using that advantage quite well.

IMHO, the AMD response (hole in Intel's armour) lies pretty much in what they are professing to be generation ahead interconnect - ie HT. I agree but while good, the challenge for them is that HT today benefits only a small number of real world applications. They will hype those apps as indicative of what you get across the board but the strategy will fail.

Customers are far smarter now and future benchmarks lie on workload specific applications, not CPU vendors favorite showcase benchmark. Intel's ACE is that Core 2 absolutely rocks in virtually all real and desireable applications and Core2 Quad will also kick butt. AMD will trot out some science project that takes advantage of HT but integer (compute intensive) apps is what most applcations want.


RE: intel sure can change course in a hurry
By RogueSpear on 9/27/2006 8:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
Master Kenobi mentioned above how Intel is already hard at work on 32nm. I would find it hard to believe that they haven't been working on some sort new interconnect of their own. Whether or not it will be as good as what AMD has coming down the line is another matter, but I think that these last few years were about the best thing that could have happened to Intel - it finally woke up a few people at Intel from their complacent stupor.

I can't see how Intel won't be totally dominant for the next year or two, maybe even longer. I hope that it doesn't sink AMD too much because competition is the only reason CPUs have progressed as much as they have. I also hope that Intel truly has learned it's lesson from NetBurst.


By zsdersw on 9/28/2006 9:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they are working on an interconnect technology, called Common System Interconnect (CSI). It should debut in 2008 or 2009.. maybe sooner (but that's a long shot).


why the ATI merger
By phatboye on 9/27/2006 3:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
This is a little of topic, but can someone please help me out on this one? What I never understood is why is AMD so worried about buying ATI. Why didn't they use their resources to increase manufacturing capacity instead of trying to buy out chipset/video card manufacturer which will require even more manufacturing resources? Even with the new facilities AMD is putting up the they still are far behind Intel as logic production is concerned.




RE: why the ATI merger
By Phynaz on 9/27/2006 4:42:04 PM , Rating: 3
Because AMD's customers want a complete platform.

The customers don't want to bear the expense of doing the hardware integration and testing. This is one thing that Intel has been able to provide.


RE: why the ATI merger
By Targon on 9/27/2006 8:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
AMD looks at the architecture of a system and looks forward at ways to make the system as a whole run better. Intel tends to put their efforts into making better individual components without a major change to the system architecture.

Memory types, faster bus(but with the same basic design we have seen for the past 20 years), new slot types, and processors are the different areas Intel has focused on to great effect.

Now, AMD put the memory controller on the CPU, worked to make HyperTransport a viable technology, and now they are buying ATI to continue the idea of making a better all-around system.

It's possible that Intel will stay ahead when it comes to CPU technology, but AMD may pull ahead when it comes to overall system performance. If AMD can convince motherboard manufacturers to put HTX slots on most motherboards, and then convince some companies to make graphics cards that use the HTX slot, AMD may take the lead as a platform for those who are graphics focused(gamers, CAD, etc...).


well
By sprockkets on 9/27/2006 5:42:37 PM , Rating: 1
Technically AMD will ship a quad core processor first while Intel will ship their million dual dual core processor on a package now.




RE: well
By DallasTexas on 9/27/2006 7:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, whatever makes you sleep better!


RE: well
By mino on 9/28/2006 4:50:22 PM , Rating: 1
Well, he is right.

Even IBM does not call its Power5 MultiChipModules(MCM) octacore CPU's. They call them for what they are. MCMs with 4 dualcore CPU's, their L3 caches (andother special chips). Even so these MCM's are socket modules comparable in technology to Intels MCMs.

The only reason Intel pushes this idea of "quad core means two dual cores" or "dual core means two cores" on a package is it suits them cause it is easily marketable.

This however, does not change fact that Kentsfield is far more powefull than Brisbane...


RE: well
By zsdersw on 9/28/2006 9:29:18 PM , Rating: 3
No, he's not. A Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry are both "cars" and can be accurately referred to as such. Whether you call each one by their specific name (Accord or Camry.. V6 Accord or V6 Camry with Navigation) or by their general name (cars) depends on the kind of conversation you're having.

The same goes for CPUs. Presler and Conroe are both "dual-core".. because the package features two cores and they can each be accurately referred to as such. Whether you call each one by their specific reference (MCM, etc.) or by their general reference (dual-core) depends on the kind of conversation you're having.

Since most of these conversations always start out with someone using a general term (dual-core or quad-core) and someone else chiming in about how this or that isn't really a "true" dual-core or quad-core.. the overall conversation is not one in which the specific reference term is entirely relevant. Were one to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of the two primary types of dual-core and quad-core chips, referencing them specifically as "MCM", etc. would be more appropriate.


Well...
By 05SilverGT on 9/27/2006 5:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
As an owner of an original A64 3000+ (that is still running strong) it sucks to see AMD getting hammered by Intels product. I hope they get in gear soon to get some product that can go head to head dollar for dollar. As of right now it looks like Intel will be powering my next rig. :(




RE: Well...
By Duwelon on 9/27/2006 6:40:15 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not. I'm a big fan of Intel, but when the P4 first came I bought an Athlon 1200 instead because it was stupid to buy a P4. I currently have an A64 3700+ @ 2.6ghz San Deigo in my PC because I couldn't justify buying a P4 again. AMD's success lately seems to have given Intel a kick in it's pants that it needed. I'm still a huge Intel fan and I love seeing them flourish but I'll always go with the chip that performs better.


First doesn't really matter...
By INeedCache on 9/28/2006 2:12:36 AM , Rating: 2
Being first doesn't really matter, it's who's got the best chip performance/value combo. In the end, that's the chip that will win over the marketplace.




Spelling error: Taped instead of Tapped.
By davecason on 9/27/06, Rating: 0
By davecason on 9/27/2006 7:50:33 PM , Rating: 1
My mistake. You meant taped.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape-out


Near Speechless
By dcalfine on 9/27/06, Rating: -1
RE: Near Speechless
By FITCamaro on 9/27/2006 5:26:52 PM , Rating: 1
You wonder why you have a rating of 0? Stupid ass comments like that. Stop being a fan boy.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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