If at first you don't succeed -- try, try again.

Earlier this year we ended up with a little egg on our face when we claimed Intel would bring HyperThreading back with the Penryn architecture.  Intel Insiders, roadmaps and guidance all said the same thing: we'd see simultaneous multi-threading in 2007.

Of course, we all know how that turned out -- after a full day Intel revised its roadmap and sent new guidance out without HyperThreading.  All engineers immediately clammed up and apologized.

Six months later, simultaneous multi-threading is back on Intel's roadmap, but this time nobody is doubletaking.  Intel's guidance for Nehalem, the next-generation 45nm successor to Penryn, claims the following:
  • Leverages 4-issue Intel Core microarchitecture technology
  • Simultaneous multi-threading (SMT)
  • Multi-level shared cache architecture
  • Performance-enhanced dynamic power management
  • Fully unlocks Intel 45nm Hi-K silicon process benefits
Intel engineers stress that while we'll see SMT on Nehalem, it has very little to do with the original HyperThreading found on the Pentium 4 architecture. "We've had some sort of SMT support for all processors since the Pentium 4 ... HyperThreading is just one implementation of SMT."  He adds, "What you're going to see on Nehalem is much, much different."

In addition to these tidbits, Intel's roadmap confirmed the presence of Intel's new uniform bus, previously dubbed Common System Interface.  This bus has been renamed to Intel QuickPath Interconnect, and will appear on Itanium and Xeon platforms.

Expect to see the first Nehalem offerings from Intel in the second half of 2008 for one and two socket servers.  The company did not disclose a date for desktops or mobile offerings.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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January 31, 2007, 9:38 AM
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