updated 04:10 pm EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
Intel Nehalem EX Preview
Intel today provided early official details about Nehalem-EX, the architecture that will form the foundation of the chip maker's highest-end Xeon processors. The design will stand as Intel's first eight-core processor and, thanks to Hyperthreading, will run as many as 16 program threads at once. It will also have the most bandwidth of any design with four QuickPath interfaces, which create a point-to-point link between the CPU, memory and peripherals. Each core will have as much as nine times the bandwidth of present-day Xeon 7400 processors.
Systems can also scale quickly to as many as eight distinct processors and as many as 16 RAM slots for each and every processor. An eight-core Nehalem-EX would have as much as 24MB of shared cache and should support Turbo Boost to shut down some cores and overclock others on programs that need few code threads.
Intel plans to mass-produce its new Xeons in the second half of the year and initially sees them being used for very high-end servers and workstations, where running many tasks in parallel is the most important.