Focused on Throughput

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2008-03-17 Print this article Print

All of these developments taken together show that Intel is focused on improving the throughput of its processors, reducing the latency and increasing the performance per watt of the chips, said John Spooner, an analyst with Technology Business Research. These improvements also look to separate Intel from its main rival-Advanced Micro Devices.

AMD's processors already offer an integrated memory controller, and the chip maker plans to switch to a 45-nanometer production process later this year, which should help the company remain competitive.

"Intel believes that its can separate itself from AMD by showing a big increase in the performance of their chips," said Spooner.

"Right now, AMD has not given out much detail about its new 45-nanometer products, and Nehalem has not been tested outside of Intel, so it's hard to tell how the two will compete," Spooner added. "It seems like Intel is really trying to swing for the fences by offering what looks like a huge performance increase and better performance per watt."

By offering these types of performance increases with Nehalem, Spooner believes that some customers might rethink their needs when it comes to servers if Intel can deliver a chip that can support tasks such as database applications and virtualization off a dual-socket system.

However, Spooner does not see customers abandoning large, multisocket systems any time soon. One area where AMD remains particularly competitive with Intel is within the multisocket system space.

In addition to its other features, Gelsinger said later version of Nehalem will offer integrated graphics. In late 2009, Intel will offer another chip called Larrabee, which will also offer multiple cores and integrated graphics on the same piece of silicon. Gelsinger did note that Larrabee will offer a new "vector instruction set," which will offer a number of improvements, including greater floating point arithmetic.


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