Now that Intel has released its new Core i7 processors for reviews, the chip giant is preparing to launch these first chips, which are based on the updated Nehalem microarchitecture, during a Nov. 17 event in San Francisco. While the first Core i7 processors are slated for gaming PCs, Intel is also setting the stage for other processors that will address the needs of the enterprise and business buyers. By late 2008 and early 2009, Intel is planning to introduce another round of processors for workstations and dual-socket processors. Intel Nehalem processors for corporate clients and notebooks will follow in 2009.
that the reviews of Intel's Core i7 processor are in
, Intel is planning to
launch the first of its chips based on the new Nehalem microarchitecture during
a Nov. 17 event in San Francisco.
Although the first of these Nehalem-based processors are designed for high-end
desktops and gaming PCs, Intel
is preparing to follow up this month's release with new processors specifically
designed for workstations and dual-core server systems
, which look to meet
the needs of the company's business buyers and enterprises.
Nehalem processors designed for corporate clients and notebooks will
follow in 2009.
the Core i7 processors were created for high-end desktops
, which will allow
Intel and its OEM partners to have new PCs ready for the holiday
shopping season, enterprise buyers can also expect new systems built around
Nehalem processors. While Intel is not talking specifics just yet, it seems
additional processors with workstations and servers should become available by
late 2008 and early 2009.
When the new Nehalem-based processors enter the market,
Intel will stress characteristics such as energy efficiency, the ability to
handle multithreaded applications and a boost in performance by
integrating chip's memory controller directly into the CPU, which eliminates
the front side bus (FSB)
and should decrease bottlenecks.
Advanced Micro Devices has been building processors with
integrated memory controllers for a number of years and users can also expect AMD
to launch new server, workstation and desktop chips in the coming year as well.
In addition to integrating the memory controller, processors
based on Nehalem will scale from one core to eight cores, with each processing
core containing two instructional threads.
While multiple instructional threads will improve
performance when it comes to games, Intel Vice President Steve Smith said these
features will also allow users who work in graphic design and content creation
to render high-definition video faster as well as give workstation users the
ability to create multimedia and digital content faster.
For energy efficiency, Smith pointed to two features that
should enhance performance there. The first is called Power Gate technology,
which allows the processor to switch off power to a core if that core is not
needed or just sitting idle. The second feature, called Turbo Boost, will speed
up the cores that are actively running an application.
"These power management features really help optimize
performance in an energy efficient way whether you're running a single threaded
application or whether you're running multithreaded applications," said Smith.
While these types of power-saving features will be useful in
servers, as IT managers look to save power, the real benefit will not be seen
until Intel offers notebook processors based on the new architecture, said
Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates.
"They [Intel] are leading with the desktops, which is not
the power throttle version, so I suspect they will work to balance it out more
before they bring out their mobile part and Intel has always done pretty well
on those things," said Kay. "That's where you would expect to see the power
With the integrated memory controller, Intel has managed to
increase performance without dramatically increasing the clock speed of the
processors. In the first set of Core i7 processors, the on-die, three-channel DDR3 (double data rate
3) memory controller, should increase memory offers two times the memory
bandwidth compared to previous processors, said Smith. It will also reduce the
latency for those applications that do not execute in cache.
While IT buyers could begin to see Nehalem-based processors
for workstation and dual-socket server systems soon, Intel has additional plans
for 2009. This includes two- and four-core Nehalem processors for corporate
clients - Intel is also preparing new vPro management technology - as well as chips
for notebooks. At
its Developer Forum in Taiwan last month, Intel showed off this new notebook
platform codenamed "Calpella."
Later in 2009, Smith said the first Nehalem-based processors
that will integrate graphics directly onto the silicon die will begin to appear
in desktop PCs.
"Some of these new processors will have integrated graphics built
into the processor and our partners will see this as an efficient use of the
processor socket and the memory for both compute power and graphics," said