Intel Senior Vice President Patrick Gelsinger says that new Intel processors based on the upcoming Nehalem microarchitecture will have a gradual rollout in the marketplace, with new processors for high-end desktops, workstations and single-socket server systems coming first. Just before the Intel Developer Forum, AMD said its 45-nm "Shanghai" processors would beat Nehalem into the market for two- and four-socket server systems.
SAN FRANCISCO-Now that Intel has
detailed its new Nehalem microarchitecture
, the question remains when the first
of the processors built around this new chip architecture will hit the
enterprise space and the wider consumer market.
To date, Intel
has revealed that the first of the Nehalem-based processors, the Intel Core i7
will enter the market in the fourth quarter of 2008 for high-end
desktop and gaming PCs before switching to desktop workstations and then
single-socket server systems.
From there, processors for the two-socket systems will land before
the second half of 2009, with parts for the four-socket space to
follow, Intel Senior Vice President Patrick
Gelsinger told eWEEK at the Intel Developer Forum here. One reason for
gradual rollout of Nehalem-based processors, Gelsinger said, is to
to build new systems and allow for extensive testing and a long
process for IT shops interested in the new processors.
"We have bettered the core and extended our cache architecture, and we also
now have a dramatic system architecture upgrade with the integrated memory
controller, three channels of DDR3 [double
data rate 3 memory], [and] three times the memory bandwidth with half the
memory latency," said Gelsinger.
Before IDF, Advanced
Micro Devices held a series of events to announce that its upcoming processors
built on a new 45-nanometer manufacturing process-the processors are code-named
Shanghai-will beat Intel's Nehalem into the two- and four-socket server space,
with the first of these processors heading to OEM partners by the end of 2009.
also plans to deliver a new server platform
The reason AMD made several announcements
before this year's IDF is that the company has enjoyed an advantage in the
multisocket server space for years with Opteron, especially with AMD's
use of the integrated memory controller. With
the Nehalem architecture, Intel will also bring an integrated memory controller
into the marke
t and eliminate the front-side bus, which should give these
processors a performance boost without a dramatic increase in clock speed.
In an interview at IDF, Gelsinger declined to directly respond to the AMD
charge that Shanghai will beat
Nehalem into the market. Gelsinger did note that the Nehalem
product cycle remains on schedule and that the chip maker's Dunnington
-a six-core, 45-nm processor-will fill the void in the multisocket
server space until Nehalem-based parts arrive in 2009.
These other Nehalem-based processors include one chip for high-performance
computing dubbed Nehalem-EP and a number of desktop chips with the code names
Havendale and Lynnfield, as well as notebook processors with the code names
Auburndale and Clarksfield.
"With Nehalem, it is more work for our customers and our OEM partners as
they build up systems," said Gelsinger. "We are on track for what we said, and
when you have major new system designs, there is a longer validation cycle and
a longer ramp into the marketplace."
The six-core Dunnington processor is due in September.
The fact that it will take longer for Intel to bring Nehalem into the market
compared with the 45-nm Penryn chips that came out at the 2007 IDF meant that
this year's IDF lacked a blockbuster announcement.
In the months leading up to IDF, Intel released many of the details about
Nehalem, including details about the integrated memory controller and the
chip-to-chip interconnect. At the same time, since Nehalem-based chips are
coming out in the fourth quarter, Intel held back on releasing prices, clock
speed and specific benchmark results.
other major announcement going into IDF was the release of some of the details
, which will give Intel a footprint in the discrete graphics
market. Gelsinger said that Intel plans to deliver the first Larrabee silicon into
the hands of developers by the first half of 2009.
Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify the schedule
for the roll out of Nehalem-based chips for two-socket systems in 2009.