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|17th August 2009, 11:12||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Intel to launch a 32nm Core i9 CPU in September?
While the media is previewing P55-motherboards featuring LGA-1156 socket for the upcoming 45nm quad-core Lynnfield processors [Core i5-700, i7-800 series], it is little known that Core i9 1000 will also launch in September. Intel's performance gurus are now performing finishing touches on the company's first 32nm processor, the sexa-core, duodec-thread Gulftown.
Gulftown processor will use the LGA-1366 socket, already a home for current Core i7-900 series processors, so Gulftown will continue to feature 216-bit [64-bit +8-bit ECC per channel] triple channel DDR3 memory. But what makes Gulftown so special is not the fact that this processor does not belong to current Nehalem architecture – this is the first member of Westmere architecture [Intel's Tick-Tock stepping]. Westmere processors come manufactured in 32 nanometer process, and feature native dual, quad, sexa and octa-core designs.
Intel decided to name processors from Core i9 series with a 1000 suffix, a logical step from Core i5-700, i7-800, i7-900 and now - i9-1000 series. With 32nm achieving excellent thermals, Intel had more than enough time to implement improvements in its Turbo architecture and achieve dynamic clock scaling even further than in 45nm Lynnfields. But these excellent thermals also enable Intel to target aggressive clock scaling for its desktop parts [Gulftowns from Xeon 5600 series will be more moderately clocked and fit inside workstation/server TDP's]. We expect to see desktop i9 processors clocked either at 2.93 GHz or 3.2 GHz. We might be wrong on that one, though. What we are not wrong about is the September launch, which will force the competition to either push into the sexa-core arena on desktop, or stay aside while Intel reaps the positive PR and more importantly, gather developer support.
Note that we are using the proper latin prefix "sexa" for describing a six-core processor, unlike vast majority that will switch to greek and use prefix "hexa" [in that case, dual-core and quad-core would be di-core and tetra-core]. After 10-cores, we will all switch to "XX-core" naming convention anyways.
In any case, there is little doubt in our minds that Intel is doing nothing short of an excellent job and keeping the crown as the manufacturer of highest-performing x86 processors in the world.
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