'Jasper Forest,' 32-nm 'Westmere' on Intel Agenda for IDF

During Intel's three-day Intel Developer Forum, key agenda items will be the new "Nehalem"-based chips for the embedded and storage sectors, code-named "Jasper Forest." Also on tap will be reports on "Westmere," Intel's processors built via the 32-nm manufacturing process. Westmere chips are on schedule for revenue production starting in the fourth quarter, giving Intel a lead over rival AMD, which isn't expected to roll out its first 32-nm chips until 2010.

"Jasper Forest" and "Westmere" will be among the technologies Intel officials will talk about during the chip maker's upcoming annual Intel Developer Forum.

Jasper Forest is the processor technology that will bring Intel's "Nehalem" microarchitecture to the embedded, storage and communications sectors early next year, according to Steve Smith, vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group.

Intel's Westmere processors will be built on the chip maker's 32-nanometer manufacturing process, which Smith said in an interview is on schedule and will be in revenue production in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The IDF conference will run Sept. 22-24 in San Francisco. Intel officials expect as many as 5,000 people to attend.

Jasper Forest will extend the reach of the Nehalem architecture, which was first introduced almost a year ago, Smith said. The four-core, 45-nm chips will bring the architecture into an embedded space that was worth about $1 billion in revenue to Intel in 2008 and promises to grow 15 to 18 percent a year, he said.

The chip will build on what Intel already has done with Nehalem. The first Nehalem chips were released in November 2008 for high-end PCs. That was followed by Nehalem processors for two-socket servers in March and the "Lynnfield" chips for mainstream desktops and laptops Sept. 8.

Nehalem EX processors for servers with four or more sockets are due out this fall.

Jasper Forest will come with an integrated I/O hub-current chips require a separate I/O hub on the board-and will offer a 27-watt system power savings, which Smith said will save businesses as much as $200 over the lifetime of a system, which is about seven to 10 years.

The chip will save businesses real estate and power costs-thanks to the integrated I/O hub-and will offer a 4-to-1 consolidation ratio of workloads.

"This allows us to put the same technology into a smaller footprint with less energy consumption," Smith said.

Jasper Forest is aimed at such devices as routers, VOIP (voice over IP) products, and such storage environments as SANs (storage area networks) and NAS (network-attached storage).

It also means that businesses can now use Intel architecture chips to run tasks that in the past had only run on non-Intel chips.

Bringing the Westmere chips to market on time will enable Intel to get a jump on 32-nm processors over rival Advanced Micro Devices, which isn't expected to release its own 32-nm chips until later in 2010.

Smith said the new manufacturing process will give the Westmere chips better performance per watt than its 45-nm counterparts, which were first released in December 2007. Intel has shipped more than 200 million 45-nm chips over the past two years.

Smith said the Westmere chips will come in models for both CPU-optimized, higher-performance systems and SoC (system-on-a-chip) devices, such as MIDs (mobile Internet devices). This will be the first time Intel has developed a full-featured SoC process technology, which will offer low power and low electricity leakage, he said.

With the new chips, Intel will roll out the second generation of high-k metal gate transistors, which reduces leakage.