Thursday, March 13, 2008

Intel Plans to Speed Up Introduction of Nehalem Microprocessors – Slides

Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of microprocessors, may bring the introduction of its microprocessors based on the next-generation micro-architecture code-named Nehalem forward. The decision will add pressure on Advanced Micro Devices in the market of dual-processor servers.

According to diagrams that represent slides from Intel Corp.’s transition guidance documents published by VR-Zone web-site, the fist Intel’s code-named Bloomfield central processing units (CPUs) for 2-way servers are set to be shipped in Q3 2008. The initial quantities will be very low, however, already in Q4 the share of Nehalem micro-architecture-based 2P server chips will increase to about 8%.

Intel’s Nehalem processors are based on the brand new micro-architecture that is not only more efficient and advanced compared to Intel Core 2, it is also feature a new multi-threading technology, which will allow to virtually double the amount of cores available. But besides integrated memory controller and a new type of processor bus called Intel Quick Path Interconnect (QPI), the Nehalem promises very high customizability. For example, Intel can add a built-in graphics core into Nehalem central processing units and alter the number of memory controller channels besides changing the number of operating processing engines.

The first version of the Nehalem processor family will be the code-named Bloomfield chip aimed at extreme desktops/workstations, high-end desktops and servers as well as on some other quite expensive systems. The CPU will have built-in triple-channel memory controller, will use Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus to connect to other chips within the system and will utilize LGA1366 form-factor. In general, Bloomfield-based PC platforms will resemble traditional AMD64 system architecture with CPU, North Bridge and I/O controller.

The launch of the new chips by Intel will not only strengthen the company’s positions on the market, but will also steal attention from the launch of 45nm microprocessors by Advanced Micro Devices that are also expected to arrive sometime in Q3 2008. But it is definitely not clear whether the ramp of Nehalem processors is planned to be quick among all product lines, or it will take a lot of time before substantial part of Intel’s CPUs will utilize the new micro-architecture.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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