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Intel's Kentsfield CPU (top) will be the first quad core desktop chip, Clovertown will be the server equivalent - Courtesy AnandTech.com
According to Intel, it says quad-core for desktops will be ready by 2007

IDF is definitely showcasing a host of exciting technologies, but today Intel showed details of some very interesting technology in regards to where servers and desktops will be heading in 2007. According to company slides, Intel expects to be shipping multi-core Xeon processors based on the Montecito core by mid-year 2006. Targeting the MP segment, Intel's next-generation Tulsa processor will be manufactured using 65nm fabrication technology with large 16MB caches.

For the desktop segment, Intel indicated that Kentsfield will be the first quad-core processor and will be released in Q1 of 2007 after Conroe. During mid-year 2006, Intel will introduce its Bridge Creek platform but it did not indicate whether or not it will be Kentsfield ready. Recently, AMD also indicated that it will be introducing quad-core processors in 2007 for the server segment, but did not talk about the desktop space. According to Intel slides, Kentsfield will be focused on immediately after Conroe.

Intel indicated that quad-core processors will only be needed for the very highest-end desktops. Corporate users and enterprise level productivity software will also be a target for Kentsfield. Tigerton, Intel's quad-core MP processor, will also be released in early 2007.


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What OS'es will support this CPU??
By SpaceRanger on 3/8/2006 4:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Everywhere I look on the internet, I see references to XP's CPU support as:

Desktop PCs.
Home Edition - 1 Physical Chip * Which could be a Hyperthreaded Intel and appears to XP as two independent processors

Professional - 2 Physical Chip(s) * Each using HT, maxing out at 4 processors -or- Two MutliCore CPU's with 4 Physical cores.

Now, if these quad-core CPU's offer HT, that would be 8 overall processors needed to be recognised. Would XP or Vista support this (without having to get an expensive license)??




RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By A5 on 3/8/2006 4:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
Probably another "wonderful" reason to upgrade to Vista ;)


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By zsdersw on 3/8/2006 4:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
HyperThreading is on its way out. I wouldn't expect to see it in Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest or anything that comes after.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By TomZ on 3/8/2006 5:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong - hyperthreading is in the roadmap for all these processors. Intel stated that only the high-end models would have hyperthreading.


By JackPack on 3/8/2006 5:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
No, there is no HTT in this generation.

It will return in the generation after Conroe/Woodcrest.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By masher2 (blog) on 3/8/2006 10:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest-- all do not have HT. While it may return in the generation after this, I strongly suspect its going to be in a radically different form.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By TheLiberalTruth on 3/9/2006 9:43:31 PM , Rating: 3
Why would HT even help? I was under the impression that HT was only useful for when the long pipeline of Northwood or the never-ending pipeline of Prescott stalled, eh?


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Questar on 3/10/2006 9:41:10 AM , Rating: 2
SMT (let's call it by it's proper name) will help a great deal. This CPU has 4 execution units that need to be kept fed. SMT will do a great deal to keep those units running.

SMT will be enables in the next spin of Conroe and it's bretheren.

Just like it was in the P4 line and just needed to be enabled, it's in Conroe.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Viditor on 3/10/2006 11:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
SMT (let's call it by it's proper name) will help a great deal. This CPU has 4 execution units that need to be kept fed. SMT will do a great deal to keep those units running


Hmmm...

1. HT is a form of SMT, so HT really is it's proper name.
2. Having more execution units makes HT LESS useful, not more so. HT (stated rather simply) allows sharing of execution units...


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Questar on 3/10/2006 3:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong.

1. HT is a trade name for SMT.

2. It's very possible - even common - for one ALU to be stalled wating for another ALU to complete it's work or waiting for memory access(depending upon how good the scheduler and prefetch algorithms are). SMT will allow the stalled ALU to do other work while it's waiting.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Viditor on 3/10/2006 8:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sigh...time to teach again? :)

1. HT is a branded methodology for performing SMT. IBM uses a slightly different methodology to perform SMT on the Power5...it's not HT, but it is SMT.

2. You have just proven MY point...Conroe has 4 ALUs! The fewer execution units you have, the more important it is that each is more efficient. Conroe has double the execution units of Netburst, which means that the stalled ALU will not effect the work done to anywhere near the degree that it would on the Netburst architecture. Athlon has 3 execution units, and SMT was found to be more of a hindrance than a help on the Athlon architecture...imagine what the effect would be on 4.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Knish on 3/11/2006 12:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
By Viditor on 3/11/2006 7:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
Woops...good call and thanks for the correction!


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By defter on 3/12/2006 1:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
2. You have just proven MY point...Conroe has 4 ALUs! The fewer execution units you have, the more important it is that each is more efficient. Conroe has double the execution units of Netburst, which means that the stalled ALU will not effect the work done to anywhere near the degree that it would on the Netburst architecture. Athlon has 3 execution units, and SMT was found to be more of a hindrance than a help on the Athlon architecture...imagine what the effect would be on 4.


SMT isn't implemented just because of stalls. The more execution units you have, the harder is to keep them fed using only one thread. That's why Power5, which issue 8 instructions and execute 5 per cycle, has SMT.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By Viditor on 3/13/2006 9:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
SMT isn't implemented just because of stalls. The more execution units you have, the harder is to keep them fed using only one thread. That's why Power5, which issue 8 instructions and execute 5 per cycle, has SMT

But, there is a big difference between IBM's SMT and Intel's HT...for one thing, the Power5's SMT can be shut off dynamically and the resources reassigned on the fly. HT is nowhere near that sofisticated yet...


By Questar on 3/13/2006 9:49:47 AM , Rating: 2
So?


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By koinkoin on 3/8/2006 4:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
No you don't need to change, Microsoft is using the sockets and not cores for the licensing.

If you look today a dual core Xeon with HT gives you a total of 8 virtual cpus under windows. And it Works with XP Pro.

The question, does Conroe actually support HT? Or has it been dropped?
I mean HT is a good technology, but it is my opinion not that interesting anymore with multi core processors.


RE: What OS'es will support this CPU??
By phaxmohdem on 3/8/2006 7:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why they would need it.... Hyperthreading was created as sort of an enhancement for the Netburst architecture, which as we all know suffers greatly in the case of pipeline stalls. Hyperthreading keeps feeding the CPU during these times to both reduce latency, and help in processing simultaneous threads..

This whole argument has been gone over before, when people asked whether or not the A64 architecture would benefit from such technology as HyperThreading, and the consensus seems to be that it would not see any drastic or practical gains, due to its short pipeline length, and efficiency as-is. The number escapes me.. but 15 pipelines?? (A64) is a lot easier to recover from than having to flush out 31 different stages (P4 Prescott) I don't see why Conroe which is based on Pentium M as we all know (~15 pipes) would benefit from HT.


By defter on 3/12/2006 1:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The number escapes me.. but 15 pipelines?? (A64) is a lot easier to recover from than having to flush out 31 different stages (P4 Prescott) I don't see why Conroe which is based on Pentium M as we all know (~15 pipes) would benefit from HT.


Pipeline length has vert little to do with benefits of SMT. For example Sun Niagara has 6 stage pipeline and it supports 4-way SMT. It definately benefits from SMT.


By smitty3268 on 3/8/2006 5:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
XP Pro might support it, but I wouldn't count on anything less than Vista Business or Home Premium editions. Since Vista is supposed to be out by the time this chip launches anyway. I'm sure the 2 cheapest versions of Vista won't support it.


By TomZ on 3/8/2006 5:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Microsoft will update the license based on quad-core, as they did when dual-core processors first became available.


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