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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2007, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Intel's new chip.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/03...nehalem_deets/

'Nehalem' has 8 cores, 16 threads and CSI
By Ashlee Vance in San Francisco → More by this author
Published Wednesday 28th March 2007 19:28 GMT
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Intel's long, strange journey toward mimicking AMD's processors will end in 2008 with a brand new chip architecture called "Nehalem," the company confirmed today. Intel's fresh chips will have up to eight cores and a number of other bits and pieces found today's in server, desktop and notebook chips from AMD.

The "Nehalem" chips will allow Intel to debut its elusive CSI (common systems interconnect) technology a high-speed serial interconnect similar to AMD's Hypertransport technology. In addition, Intel will pump out processors with built-in memory controllers and built-in graphics units, said SVP Pat Gelsinger, speaking to reporters here. Lastly, Intel intends to support two software threads per core with the "Nehalem" gear again bringing the giant in line with processor rivals such as Sun Microsystems and IBM.

"This is a big deal," Gelsinger said. "This is a very big deal."

The executive's enthusiasm proves understandable. The Nehalem designs are a total architecture revamp over today's "Core" designs, which were unsheathed in the first quarter last year. The Core chips Intel's currently shipping products for mobile, desktop and server computers improved the company's overall product performance and performance per watt, allowing to compete with and even best AMD on numerous benchmarks for the first time in a couple of years.

Intel hopes to build on that success with the Nehalem gear that will range from one to at least eight cores.

At the moment, Intel is keeping the very fine details about the Nehalem chips hush-hush. Gelsinger, however, did confirm the previously mentioned items such as "integrated memory controllers as well as point-to-point interconnects (up to four links)" on chips running at greater than 3GHz. Some chips for the server and client markets will also have integrated graphics processors similar to gear that AMD plans to pump out fresh off its ATI acquisition. And all of the Nehalem products will support DDR3 memory.

Reading the tea leaves, it sounds like Intel will roll out quite a number of different chip specs, including multi-core products with lower frequencies similar to Sun's UltraSPARC T1 that cater to multi-threaded software.

End users of Intel's new chips will have to buy fresh systems rather than slotting the chips into existing boxes. By contrast, AMD with its upcoming Barcelona product and the follow-on Montreal chip will have socket compatibility, as disclosed in this Register exclusive.

Intel has struggled to get the CSI technology out the door. It once expected to outfit a version of Xeon code-named Whitefield with CSI but scrapped those plans due to design issues. The chip maker is expected to introduce CSI in its Itanium family in 2008 as well and has told some customers that the technology shows "much lower latency" than AMD's Hypertransport.

Forget not Penryn
Looking back to the near term, Gelsinger also divulged more details on the "Penryn" family of chips that will go into production this year.

This will be Intel's first chip family to make major use of the company's 45nm manufacturing, Hi-k manufacturing process. Processors in the family will benefit from higher available front side busses (1600 MHz) and a number of other technology enhancements that we've profiled in detail.

Gelsinger, however, urged that the Nehalem parts will be the true 45nm flagship products having been designed from the ground up for that manufacturing process. Customers are "already well underway" with their system designs for the chips.





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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-29-2007, 08:17 PM
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2007, 04:52 AM
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I'm not so sure on how much this helps on the desktop side. However on the server side, this is going to be HUGE.

I do a lot of Virtualization using VMware ESX and more cores means more Virtual Machines on a single hosting server. More VMs on a host means fewer hardware purchases. That means less power consumption and lower costs on the front and backend.

My only question is if Intel is going to greatly increase the bandwidth for the backplane supporting this processor. There is a lot of processing power there and a VMware environment can take full advantage of it. I just hope that data doesn't have a traffic jam getting to the processor..


BTW IT guys, if you haven't started working with VMware ESX (not GSX, Workstation, or Server) you are missing the boat. I've got recruiters calling me all the time with jobs in the six figure range. I found out yesterday that my company is looking to give me another pay hike to keep me from jumping ship. Our competitors have become HUGE in virtualization and they're actively trying to hire me away.

Looks like I picked the right technology

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2007, 05:50 AM
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Another huge bonus for having lots of cores on few sockets is software licensing. Consider SQL - an 8 proc box requiring SQL Ent needs 8 licenses at about $13k each. A two proc, 4 core box only needs 2 licenses.

As for VMWare, the Unix hippies at work are clammoring over the environment I just put together for a new customer. They think it's awesome, "it's going to be the next big thing." They just don't realize it's already the next big thing, and they're missing the boat.



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-30-2007, 11:27 AM
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I have know I idea what those past two post just said... but if this means I can get 40,000FPS in wow then cool!




lol I was kinda wondering when Intel was going to release some info on their new lines, they have been really quiet lately

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