Intel Has Multicores Inside

Highlights of the chip maker's fall Intel Developer Forum, beginning Tuesday, will include updated plans for chips with two or more processor cores and a new processor architecture.

Intel will have a multitude of multicore processors on hand this week at its fall developer forum, which opens Tuesday.

Paul Otellini, CEO of the Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker, will kick it off by unveiling what is likely to be the biggest news from this years fall event. Otellini will open the three-day fall Intel Developer Forum with a keynote address that will include the first details of a new processor architecture. The architecture will present a new take on the circuitry that underpins the bulk of Intel Corp.s future PC and server chips.

The architecture, whose planned announcement has already sparked much discussion, is expected to draw heavily from the circuitry behind Intel Pentium M notebook processor. It is likely to focus on attaining a mix of performance and energy efficiency for multicore processors, which pack more than one processor core into a single chip.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intels new processor architecture.

Intel typically uses its developer forum, which takes place twice a year in the United States and which visits a multitude of international venues as well, to set the tone for its partners for months and often years to come. The companys multicore plans, which include nearly 20 different chips, have been the main focus of its developer forums during the last year.

Intel began to outline its plans to shift its Pentiums, Xeons and Itaniums to dual-cores—and later multiple cores—at its developer forum in the fall of 2004.

This time around, Intel will show some of the results. The chip maker has either begun shipping dual-core chips, in the case of desktop chips such as its Pentium D, or is getting ready to. Servers based on Intels dual-core Xeon server chips, machines which have been sampling since July, will come out later this year, the company said last week. Previously, it had aimed to roll the chips in the first quarter of 2006.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about the progression of Intels multicore plans.

The new multicore strategy, which emphasizes a processors overall performance over its sheer speed, is starkly different than the picture Intel had painted in the past. During its spring developer forum of 2002, the chip maker discussed plans for its Pentium 4 to hit 5GHz. Instead, following its shift to a multicore strategy, its single-core Pentium 4 has been hovering at 3.8GHz and, right now, its fastest Pentium D dual-core chip runs at 3.2GHz.

Next Page: Intel will also discuss product platforms and business groups.