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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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RE: not that Im complainging but
By XSpeedracerX on 9/13/2010 8:04:29 PM , Rating: -1
No one 'needs' 10 core CPUs any more than they 'need' the current $1000 top tier six core units. The premium SKU part of the industry is clearly not driven by 'need', but want.

Who 'needs' 1TB of storage? even today when drives twice that size are available? Who 'needs' a 82" 1080p TV? Who 'needs' their phone to have a display so sharp you cant tell it's made of pixels anymore, half a gig of RAM and a 1000Mhz processor? Its going to be ages before a six core i7 feels sluggish, yet the person who bought it is probably going to ditch it anyway for the latest and greatest a year or so from when they bought it. Not because they need to, but because they want to.

RE: not that Im complainging but
By dark matter on 9/14/10, Rating: -1
By XSpeedracerX on 9/16/2010 2:21:52 AM , Rating: 1
Well, thats how it is. What do you think the two year smartphone upgrade cycle is about? You really think your smartphone will be dead in only two years flat? Even when my nokia dumbphone lasted ten?

Someone able to dump $3-4k into their winbox is someone with some disposable income who likely won't settle for 'good enough'. They don't even have to feel sluggish - once these parts aren't the top of the line anymore, or get trounced in the latest benchmark, their history still useful or not. Yes you could say that this person is rather spoiled. No there's nothing you can do to stop them.

RE: not that Im complainging but
By lamerz4391 on 9/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: not that Im complainging but
By XSpeedracerX on 9/16/2010 2:15:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the cluelessness is pretty astounding. On YOUR part.

No one was talking about the enterprise world, so you can take your strawman back to the bail of hay you pulled him out off. Also, unless your press release is comming out of IBM, sun or SGI, your enterprise CPU announcement is very much about the 'xtreme gaming' market, since a variant of it will be marketed and sold there.

RE: not that Im complainging but
By FaceMaster on 9/21/2010 6:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
I, for one, need more than 1 TB of hard drive space. You clearly haven't discovered the delights of 1080p porn. Just because YOU don't want the world to progress, it doesn't mean that others feel the same way. Why should we have to wait for videos to render? Why should we have to tap our fingers as we wait for the desktop to load? Why should we be restricted to SD, fuzzy porn when there are better alternatives out there? I'm an Xtreme gamer myself, and I DEMAND 1000 fps solid on Solitaire, or else I can't possibly expect to be the best in the world at it. 6 core processors just don't do it for me any more. And as for my phone, I love not being able to see the pixels. It makes the girls look like they're actually there, in the palm of my hand. Go back to your 8 bit wankfests, you Windows 3.1 addict. Wait, you're probably more of an Apple fan if you don't care (or simply don't know) about the faster, better alternatives out there.

RE: not that Im complainging but
By YashBudini on 9/21/2010 11:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly haven't discovered the delights of 1080p porn.

Oh I'm sure there's nothing quite so arousing as seeing herpes sores in excruciating detail.

Magazines don't airbrush their photos for the fun of it.

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