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Bigger numbers sell stuff, even if megahurtz madess has been replaced by core confusion in this decade's marchitectural race.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