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Intel Talks About Nehalem Xeon Processors

In a bid to take on AMD's new “Istanbul” Opteron six-shooter processor, Intel on Tuesday announced that it will come up with a new a server chip that includes up to eight processor cores by the end of this year.

Intel's new high-end processor, dubbed as “Nehalem-EX”, will be offering two key improvements, including increase in the number of cores within a single chip from six to eight, and the ability of each core to handle two threads of software rather than just one.

In addition to it, the new Nehalem-EX will include 24-Mbytes of shared cache, support for 16 DIMMs per socket, four high-speed QPI links, as well as Intel's signature “Turbo Boost” and hyperthreading technologies.

Touting the features of its new chip, the chip giant said in a statement, “Nehalem-EX will provide tremendous scalability, from large-memory two-socket systems through eight-socket systems capable of processing 128 threads simultaneously without the need for third-party chips to “glue” the platform together”.

The new chip, which will succeed Intel's existing Xeon 7400 processor, is expected to be shipped in high-end server systems by the first quarter of 2010. However, the company didn't share anything about pricing details and clock speed of the processor.

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Our Comments

Intel is not delaying the Nehalem Xeon because of any performance or architectural issues. It is doing this because now is not the best time to do it. The company also pushed the new Core i5 consumer processors to later this year to clear out any inventories and allow resellers to sell their stocks before new products are launched. AMD could benefit from this respite.

Related Links

Intel pushes Nehalem EXs into 2010

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Intel: New Nehalem chip has "dramatic" performance gains


Intel Plans to Expand Xeon Chip Line Into Bigger Servers

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Intel, IBM discuss 8-core 'Nehalem' server chip


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