Leaked Intel slides show 8-core CPUs
Intel's upcoming processor generations will double the number of cores per chip and add a brand new language for specialized code, according to leaked slides obtained by CanardPlus. Although the semiconductor company's Core i7 will just receive a manufacturing process shrink down from 45 nanometers to 32 during 2009, reducing its power use and allowing more complex parts, a replacement architecture codenamed Sandy Bridge will replace it by 2010 and double the number of cores per die to eight. Hyperthreading support will let it handle as many as 16 code threads at once, while a large 16MB pool of Level 3 cache will be shared to make best use of the cores.
The most important advancement of Sandy Bridge is nonetheless described as software, according to the roadmap outlined in the slides. Intel will reportedly introduce a new instruction set termed Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) that will ultimately supercede the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) found in today's Core 2 and eventual Core i7 designs. The improvement will double the size of instructions to 256 bits and will optionally perform as many as four calculations in a single instruction. AVX will also be extensible and let Intel add new code over time to improve features without changing the hardware itself.
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