Intel has announced that its next generation Tukwila processors have two
billion transistors on the die. The first Tukwila processors will be in the
Itanium family and the bulk of the transistors will be used for on-die memory.
An Intel senior fellow, Justin Rattner, told eWeek that the Itanium
Tukwila processor will have 30MB of on-die cache and support up to
eight instructional threads.
While Intel has been ramping up its 45nm processors with a retool
of some of its fab plants to build new Penryn
processors, the Tukwila processor uses the older 65nm process for its design.
Intel says it expects the Tukwila
processors to hit the market by the end of 2008 and the first processors
will run at a 2GHz clock speed.
The new Tukwila processors will also be the first of Intel’s Itanium
processors to use the new QuickPath interconnect technology, which is an
integrated memory controller. The integrated memory controller has been used by
Intel rival AMD on its x86 processors for years.
Rattner tells eWeek that the new Itanium Tukwila processor will offer
twice the performance of the current 9100 series processor and the Tukwila will
operate inside a 130-watt thermal envelope. The core architecture of the
Tukwila processor is said to remain the same as the current generation of
processors though Tukwila will offer more features.
Intel’s Tukwila processor will compete in the same market as Sun’s
Rock processor which sports 16 processor cores.
quote: The average brain has around 100B neurons. At the current rate of growth, CPUs will exceed that number in transistor count by around the year 2024.