Intel plans to add more Westmere cores

Intel confirmed it is planning new versions of its 32nm Xeon server chips that will sport more than eight cores. The firm said as much in a cosy webcast with pals yesterday.

Currently codenamed Westmere-EX, the chips would replace the eight-core, 45nm Xeon 7500 chips based on the Nehalem-monikered design.

The chips are likely to pack 12 cores yet run in the same power envelope and same socket as the current Westmere generation, in a trick the chip maker nicked from rival AMD. We're guessing Intel will plump for 12 cores as it's a bigger number. It could be more. Ten doesn't figure. Nine or eleven are hardly likely. Sixteen? Probably, but not yet! AMD already makes a 12-core Opteron 6000 on its fatter, Nehalem-like 45nm process.

Bigger numbers sell stuff, even if megahurtz madess has been replaced by core confusion in this decade's marchitectural race.

Intel released its up-to six-core, 32nm Westmere-EP server chips named Xeon 5600 in March.