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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
Intel talks of quad-core Xeons and shares thoughts on integrated memory controllers

A newly invigorated Intel is pulling out all of the stops to stay ahead of AMD these days. Intel's Core 2 Duo Extreme is putting out some rather encouraging numbers and should keep AMD working hard for the next few quarters. And shortly after aggressive pricing was revealed for Intel's new Core 2 family of processors, AMD responded with its own price cuts across the board to stay in the game. With its mainstream desktop products taken care of, and its new Core 2 mobile processors on the way, Intel is looking forward to updates to its server processors.

Intel's Woodcrest processors look to make up for the sins of the father, in this case the current Xeon, by increasing performance by 80% while lowering power consumption by 35%. Even more impressive is Intel's ramp of the Woodcrest -- by the end of 2006, Intel is expecting that 90% of the Xeon processors that it ships will be dual core. Two thirds of those dual-core offerings will be Woodcrest based according to Intel.

Just around the same time that Intel releases its quad-core Kentsfield desktop processors in Q1'07, quad-core Clovertown server processors will also make an appearance. According to Intel's Enterprise Architecture Director Dileep Bhandarkar, Clovertown will be two dual-core processors built into a single package versus AMD's single package of four cores. Bhandarkar also conceded that the lack of an integrated memory controller, like those on the AMD64 platform, does hurt performance. EWEEK reports:

Bhandarkar admitted that integrating the memory controller—which handles the flow of data to and from system memory—directly into the chip rather than housing it on a chip set would improve performance with some workloads. However, he said, Intel officials felt it was more important to bring a quad-core processor to the market before AMD does. The company expects to precede its rival by a quarter or two.

Still, Bhandarkar feels that its server products will offer enough of performance advantage that it won’t need to delve into integrated memory controllers for now. In the mean time, integrated memory controllers are definitely in the pipeline as is an integrated graphics controller, but no timeline was given for either.



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New Socket?
By Mclendo06 on 6/14/2006 9:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
Would an on-die memory controller necessitate intel making new sockets to connect the processor to the memory? Basically, I imagine that 775 (or 771 in the case of xeons) won't be enough pins to interface with memory (reason why AMD has 940).




RE: New Socket?
By Thorburn on 6/14/2006 9:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
A new socket would certainly be necessary as none of LGA775 and I presume LGA771's pins go to the memory, only to the MCH.


RE: New Socket?
By maevinj on 6/14/2006 11:25:53 AM , Rating: 1
of course its going to need a new socket. how are they suppose to make money if they dont change sockets every couple of months.


RE: New Socket?
By Thorburn on 6/14/2006 11:50:21 AM , Rating: 2
Well if you look at the server space, where a IMC design would most likely be implemented, the previous Xeon socket lasted a good few years, infact I could take a month old Xeon board and plug a Willamette based Xeon into it.
Willamette being the 180nm chip which comfortably predates even the first announcement of the Athlon 64, let alone Opteron.....


RE: New Socket?
By Trisped on 6/14/2006 1:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but the memory is still accessed through those pins.


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