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The new Westmere-EX CPU will bring 10 cores to a single server socket.  (Source: Anandtech)

Intel will keep the CORE-ix brand names for its upcoming "Sandy Bridge" architecture redesign.  (Source: Anandtech)

"Sandy Bridge" will use a ring bus to allow the on-chip cores and media units (including the on-die GPU) to access the cache.  (Source: Anandtech)
Chipmaker doesn't reveal launch date for the Westmere-EX

Intel likely today set those looking to deploy a high-performance single socket server solution salivating with its unveiling of the Westmere-EX.  Following the Gulftown lineup -- which trickled out starting in March 2010 -- the Westmere-EX is Intel's latest 32 nm Westmere chip.

Westmere is very similar to the
Nehalem 45 nm architecture, meaning it's a "tick" design -- not a major redesign.  That's not to say there isn't enough to be excited about here, though.  Intel is making good use of its extra die space saved by the shrink and the Westmere-EX packs an incredible 10 cores in a single socket package.  That adds up to a total of 20 threads.

For the supercomputing-minded, the new chip bumps the amount of usable memory from 1TB (64 DIMM slots) to 2TB.  There's no official word on the name of the processor -- past
Gulftown server designs were in the Xeon 3600- and 5600-series.  Also not revealed are clock speeds and launch date.

Perhaps more exciting was new details Intel revealed about its upcoming "tock" (architecture redesign), code-named
Sandy Bridge The upcoming 32 nm architecture will feature a ring design for its last-level cache access.  Cache will be accessible by an on-chip 3D Graphics Processing Unit, the four (or potentially more) cores, and the Media Processing unit.  The ring bus is designed to deliver high-bandwidth to the various connected cores in the chip.

The processor will feature the return of Turbo Boost mode, which allows the easy overclocking of Intel's processors.

Sandy Bridge PC processors will keep the CORE-i3, i5, and i7 designations and will be rebranded the  "new CORE-i3..."  That approach is likely to create confusion among customers about exactly what they're buying, given that the average user likely wouldn't be able to pick a Nehalem i7 from a Westmere i7 or Sandy Bridge i7.

On a more positive note, though, 
AnandTech is reporting that the Media Processing Unit will include video transcode hardware.  In a demo that hardware crunched ~1 minute long 30Mbps 1080p HD video clip to an iPhone compatible format in under 10 seconds.  The transcode hardly can be viewed as Intel's attempt to fend of NVIDIA's GPU computing from entering the consumer market.

GPU computing is a hot new field of computing -- it centers around the notion that dedicated video hardware can outperform CPUs at a number tasks, including chemical simulations, video encoding, physics simulations, and more.



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What's the TDP?
By SunAngel on 9/13/2010 7:31:01 PM , Rating: -1
10-cores? That sucker has got to be drinking about 325 watts. Computed as 130 / 4 * 10 = 325

That's enough juice per kw to recharge a electric car overnight. Something tells me overclocker's are not going to be invited to the green movement.




RE: What's the TDP?
By tastyratz on 9/13/2010 7:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
somewhat... but its going to be far more energy efficient compared to 2 quads and a dual core server. Clock for clock efficiency it will crank out. If the other cores can truly enter a deep sleep state it could be managed more appropriately. Idle will likely end up not much worse than current offerings.

Don't forget core2duo vs core2quad resulted in a 65-95 watt tdp jump. You only drink the juice if you use the juice.

and are you really saying overclockers wont welcome a 325 watt tdp if that's what it actually was? Most extremers buy 750+ watt power supplies when your average sli quad build cant even max out a true 400 watt supply.

You want to cry about energy usage look at video cards.

This server chip will do very well where its intended market is.


RE: What's the TDP?
By kake on 9/14/2010 1:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
Anandtech had a good article last week on the various available server processors and their power usage vs. performance.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3894/server-clash-de...


RE: What's the TDP?
By zpdixon on 9/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: What's the TDP?
By zpdixon on 9/15/2010 2:50:07 AM , Rating: 1
Care to explain the downvote?

I am right to call someone who predicts 325W "crazy" because it would mean the entire system integrator industry would have to redesign chassis and heatsinks to account for a TDP 2.5x higher than the highest current TDP (Intel 130W Nehalem processors).

As AMD demonstrated with its Magny-cours 12-core processors, it is possible to pack a high number of cores in the same TDP envelope as of today. Therefore Intel is likely to do the same (10 cores in approximately the current Intel 95-130W TDP envelope).

I am going to come back to this thread when Intel announces the TDP to prove I was right.

Adios.


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