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Intel Talks a Little About 10-core Westmere-EX

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

That'd be decacore.

Nehalem-EXNehalem-EX

At Hot Chips, Intel engineer Dheemanth Nagaraj told everyone in attendance that the next server processor from the company would have 10 cores and be able to process 20 threads.

It's the next in the server EX line, the Westmere-EX, which will pick up from the Nehalem-EX using the newest core architecture. What Nagaraj declined to reveal were clock speeds or anything related to performance, other than it'll have two more cores and four more thread capability than Nehalem-EX.

According to the Register, Westmere-EX will have an L3 cache – something Intel prefers to call "last level cache" – and each of its 10 cores will share 10 "slices" of this cache, which are accessed over a bidirectional ring bus and can handle five parallel cache requests per clock cycle.

Those running Nehalem-EX systems now can maintain their current platforms, as Westmere-EX will be socket compatible with the current Boxboro-EX platform.

One feature that did not make it into Nehalem-EX due to time constraints but will be in Westmere-EX is Directory Assisted Snoopy (DAS) to improve local memory latency.

When asked why Intel is only going 10 cores when the competition has the 12-core Magny-Cours, Nagaraj said that going with 10 "gave us the sweet spot for performance and time-to-market."

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    thebigt42 , August 26, 2010 1:14 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    It will be used on machines with hypervisors and lots VMs
  • 20 Hide
    Netherscourge , August 26, 2010 1:09 PM


    Seems like the CPU manufacturers have given up on the speed race and are now just trying to cram as many cores as possible onto a single die.
  • 20 Hide
    tokenz , August 26, 2010 1:20 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...


    There are applications for this. Server and workstation programs have been multithreaded for years. Your not going to throw this in gaming desktop.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Netherscourge , August 26, 2010 1:09 PM


    Seems like the CPU manufacturers have given up on the speed race and are now just trying to cram as many cores as possible onto a single die.
  • 22 Hide
    thebigt42 , August 26, 2010 1:14 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    It will be used on machines with hypervisors and lots VMs
  • 4 Hide
    thebigt42 , August 26, 2010 1:16 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    I don't know how many it can use but I know handbrake (and a lot of video tools do) it uses all 8 threads of my processor when encoding video files. But I get your point, most games are not going to use this.
  • 20 Hide
    tokenz , August 26, 2010 1:20 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...


    There are applications for this. Server and workstation programs have been multithreaded for years. Your not going to throw this in gaming desktop.
  • 13 Hide
    quantum mask , August 26, 2010 1:29 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    This is not a desktop processor, it's going to be used for servers. Servers by their very nature with take advantage of multiple threads. Even if it were used in a desktop there are plenty of programs out today that will take advantage of the multiple cores.
  • 2 Hide
    animehair , August 26, 2010 1:30 PM
    just as the guy before me said...these will be great CPU's for servers running lots of virtual servers...or clustering farms.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , August 26, 2010 1:31 PM
    This will be a welcomed upgrade so long the memory subsystem doesn't get completely hammered or draw more power than what they are replacing. Cooling server farms and data centers is expensive then maintenance (down time) can be a pain in the backside.
  • 0 Hide
    mykem , August 26, 2010 1:36 PM
    I can see this being a great value for a multi-threaded database backend or even a high-performance web server.
  • -8 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , August 26, 2010 1:47 PM
    They really need to stop adding cores and threads. Instead, just make things go faster, or at least over 4 Ghz without overclocking. It'll still be a while until most applications even utilize quad cores. Not sure if most of the apps made today even utilize dual cores.
  • 0 Hide
    jecastej , August 26, 2010 2:12 PM
    With every new generation every single core gets more powerful but in the 5-10% range clock for clock. I think what many asks and myself too is when a significant core redesign is expected? Or this will keep a very gradual progression for the next years?
  • 4 Hide
    teknic111 , August 26, 2010 2:18 PM
    Quote:
    Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    This chip is for servers, and already has uses if implemented in a scaleable environment. Also, how can you create software for a hardware solution that doesn't exist??

    "The body cannot exist without the mind"
  • 1 Hide
    chess , August 26, 2010 2:21 PM
    i'm wondering when the x86 design will change to something else. For years, people have been saying its inefficient...but in any case, I hope AMD can really hold its ground to Intel this coming year.
  • 20 Hide
    mattamonett , August 26, 2010 2:26 PM
    I am the only person on earth that laughs at ignorant comments like
    Quote:
    They really need to stop adding cores and threads. Instead, just make things go faster, or at least over 4 Ghz without overclocking. It'll still be a while until most applications even utilize quad cores. Not sure if most of the apps made today even utilize dual cores.


    And comments about how most games don’t take advantage of n number of cores.

    It is just sad that people that know so little about the subject would even open their mouths. Didn’t anyone tell you people to keep your mouth shut unless you know what you are talking about?
    If your app doesn’t support multiple treads by this day in age then it is for good reason. It is not like the developer just refuses to make the app multi-threaded for no reason. It is likely because of two reasons… either the app is so undemanding of cpu power that it doesn’t need it or the problem the app solves just isn’t capable of being done in a non-serial fashion.

    I have written probably millions of lines of code. I can tell you first hand that some apps will likely never be highly muti-threaded because they just require a step by step process that can’t be done any other way.

    Come on people you should be ashamed of yourselves. You gamers are the worst of all. You think you know something about computers because you can install a game or set your AA video settings. There is more to that expensive rig… try opening something useful or even just browsing the net for knowledge.

    Let the flames begin and the stupidity.
  • -1 Hide
    lamorpa , August 26, 2010 2:31 PM
    @mykem: "I can see this being a great value for a multi-threaded database backend or even a high-performance web server."

    I'm sure this proposed processor will be good at the uses it was designed for. Did you expect something else? I cannot imagine what the purpose of your comment is? Do you think Intel needs a little pat on the back? Do you think they are unsure or even insecure about their market analysis and approach? You may have noticed, they have experienced quite a bit of success in the past.
  • 1 Hide
    bildo123 , August 26, 2010 2:34 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...


    Target market is servers, you give the impression this'll be used for gaming/desktop browsing which even then most current released games have *some* multi-core/thread support.
  • 0 Hide
    mcvf , August 26, 2010 2:57 PM
    chessi'm wondering when the x86 design will change to something else. For years, people have been saying its inefficient...but in any case, I hope AMD can really hold its ground to Intel this coming year.

    Interesting that you mentioned it, but there is very pragmatic reason why we are/gonna be stuck with x86 for a while. The reason is named Intel. There has been attempts to do more efficient CPUs using RISC architecture, but all companies doing this for servers were killed by the competition - Intel. In longer term, they have lost the race and market shares. Intel on the other hand, took all he could in the server and desktop domain and made sure everything they ever do is well patented. So now producers have about these options:
    a) make new chips and literally beg OS producers and SW developers to make OS for their chips and make the same software for it - I don't think Microsoft will ever hear for that as there is known Wintel consortium bringing just so much profits. And lets face it, Microsoft is dominant at the moment
    b) Make something x86 compatible and slowed down to oblivion, because those are the only chips which will sell (e.g. AMD)
    c) Ignore Intel and make some other chip (e.g. Chinese chips being internally RISC (MIPS), but having translating parts for x86 instructions - meaning slowdowns anyway)
    d) Some genius makes new super parallel super awesome chip, which performance hungry users/corporations just cannot ignore it and something new in terms of SW will come up as well

    So to speak, your best chance is to hope that one day Intel's CEO wakes up and says something like "Let's abandon x86 for good."
  • 0 Hide
    eyemaster , August 26, 2010 3:00 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    You have it, it's called Windows. This is for a Server, these will be server chips. What that means is that there's lots of IO and programs running. Multiple cores/threads are going to be used. Completely different from a gaming system that only really runs one program fast.
  • -3 Hide
    dylansaliba , August 26, 2010 3:00 PM
    All I know is the same 16 gig high def video files took 10 hours on my old school dual core and 9 minutes on my buddies i7. Get 64 bit OS and applications and you'll see the difference in the threads you noobs. Give me lotsa lotsa threads! I'll make em ALL sweat bullets.
  • 0 Hide
    segio526 , August 26, 2010 3:07 PM
    razercultmember1Multi threaded applications need to be in place BEFORE stuff like this is created...

    It says Xeon EX, not Core i7. Multi threaded applications and situations have been around for decades, hence why servers of the past had to use several single core single threaded processors. Databases, Ray-Tracers, and most recently, Hyper-Visers are extremely threaded and will take advantage of as many logical processors as they can get. Imagine being able to assign 4 logical processors to each of several virtual servers. Amazing.

    Although, as far as gaming is concerned, I wonder how a couple of these would do on that Quake Wars: Enemy Territory ray-traced demo they did a few years back. They got 30fps at 1280x720 on just 8 logical processors. 40 should make that like buttah!
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