With the launch and excitement of Intel's
Silverthorne-based Atom processors behind it, Intel is turning its sights
to the more salient and profitable next generation architecture for desktop,
server, and mobile processors. Intel used the Spring IDF 2008 as a showcase for
its Nehalem processor architecture.
Intel's Nehalem is
truly a radical architecture departure from Intel thanks to its integrated
memory controller that will support triple-channel DDR3-1333 memory. This won't be the only design element taken almost verbatim from AMD's playbook; Intel also plans to incorporate the new QuickPath Interface on Nehalem. QuickPath is almost identical in spirit and implementation to AMD's current interconnect technology, HyperTransport.
The first available Nehalem
processors will be built on the existing 45nm manufacturing process, will
incorporate SSE4 instructions, and will feature four fully integrated cores. Each core will have
its own dedicated 256KB L2 cache and each core will share an 8MB of L3
cache pool. The bulk of these 731 million transistor processors are dedicated to cache.
Event demonstrations at the Shanghai Intel Developer Forum, occurring now until the end of the week, show A1 silicon Bloomfield-based Nehalem
processors at IDF at a speedy 3.2 GHz.
Like the 533 MHz variants of Intel's new Silverthorne-based Atom processors, Nehalem will also incorporate Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT)
which is also known as Hyper-Threading (HT).
Intel senior vice president Patrick Gelsinger confirmed that Xeon MP versions of Nehalem will eventually incorporate eight cores per processor, one upping the current Penryn-derived Dunnington processor the company plans to announce later this year. These octo-core Nehalem processors will also use the newest iteration of Hyper-Threading, bringing the total count to 16 threads per chip. And of course, these processors can be used in quad-socket configurations, bringing the processor market to 64 threads per mainboard.
Current Intel roadmaps peg the Nehalem launch date in Q4 2008, with a simulteanous rollout across servers and desktops. Since Nehalem uses a new architecture and transport bus, existing motherboards will not work with the new processors.
quote: No but they've had the most success with it and there's no denying that.
quote: In February 1982, AMD signed a contract with Intel, becoming a licensed second-source manufacturer of 8086 and 8088 processors. IBM wanted to use the Intel 8088 in its IBM PC, but IBM's policy at the time was to require at least two sources for its chips. AMD later produced the Am286 under the same arrangement, but Intel canceled the agreement in 1986 and refused to convey technical details of the i386 part. AMD challenged Intel's decision to cancel the agreement and won in arbitration, but Intel disputed this decision. A long legal dispute followed, ending in 1994 when the Supreme Court of California sided with AMD. Subsequent legal disputes centered on whether AMD had legal rights to use derivatives of Intel's microcode. In the face of uncertainty, AMD was forced to develop "clean room" versions of Intel code.
quote: These octo-core Nehalem processors will also use the newest iteration of Hyper-Threading, bringing the total count to 16 threads per core.
quote: These octo-core Nehalem processors will also use the newest iteration of Hyper-Threading, bringing the total count to 2 threads per core.
quote: Things aren't completely liquid at Intel, as demonstrated by the 45nm quad-core botched launch. Granted, it's better executed than other things we've seen.
quote: Botched? Facts? I haven't heard any problems with the 45nm launch except for all of these "speculative" claims that there is a shortage? Mostly by AMD buffs like you.
quote: Since November, Xeon's have been available across the board. The QX9650 as well. Holding back Yorkfield and Wolfdale because demand is still high for 65nm Conroes is not a botched launch. Clearly the botched Phenom launch left Intel wondering what to do with a bunch of 45nm chips it didn't need to push to market.
quote: Is this the reason the 45nm chips are out of stock everywhere and finding the top clock rate chip, the e8500, is near impossible? Because AMD fans just think there is a shortage?
quote: *Note in Tripple channel configurations you buy memory in sets of 3, not 2. Last I checked DDR3 is supposed to come in 2GB Dimm's and higher. :P
quote: The QuickPath Interconnect will support triple-channel DDR3-1333 memory.
quote: . Each physical core in a single Nehalem processor is paired up with its own virtual core. As a result, the processor is treated as having eight threads/processors.
quote: Wrong. Each physical core is paired up with TWO virtual cores.
quote: These octo-core Nehalem processors will also use the newest iteration of Hyper-Threading, bringing the total count to 16 threads per core. And of course, these processors can be used in quad-socket configurations, bringing the processor market to 64 threads per mainboard.