San Francisco (CA) - Intel took the wraps off five of its 15 currently developed multicore processors at IDF. The company believes the technology will allow its processors to gain performance in the next four years faster than in any other timeframe in their history.
The manufacturer unloaded an enormous amount of information about its future platforms and processor that left the impression, that Intel wants to be absolutely sure that it has the right products in place to maintain its dominating position in the microprocessor business.
As expected, the firm displayed dual-core chip products across all of its market segments, ranging from the Pentium D 800-series ("Smithfield"), its 65nm successor "Presler", the mobile version "Yonah"which also will be the firm's 65 nm processor on the market next year, to a dual-core Itanium ("Montecito") as well as the 65 nm "Dempsey", which will become the next-generation Xeon processor in 2006.
Following Paxville, "Tulsa" will be the first Xeon MP chip in 65 nm and become a member of the "Reidland" platform. Another generation into the future, "Whitefield" will be the first Xeon MP processor that shares "some" platform architecture elements with the future Itanium processor "Tukwila", formerly code-named "Tanglewood".
The update for the Itanium family will be the 90 nm "Montecito", which is scheduled to make its debut in the fourth quarter of this year. The processor with 1.72 billion transistors will include up to 24 MByte of cache, deliver about 50 to 100 percent more performance than its predecessor with significantly less power consumption: Instead of swallowing 122 watts, Montecito will consume 100 watts, according to Intel. Following Montecito, Intel outlined "Millington" for dual-processor and low-voltage systems and Montecito's successors "Montvale" and Tukwila. "Dimona, based on Tukwila, will succeed the Millington processor.
Pat Gelsinger, head of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, expects that these changes will "result in the fastest rate of performance increase of our time." Parallelism will allow to chip developers to speed up processors ten-fold between 2005 and 2008, the executive said. "By the end of the decade, mainstream desktops will handle eight threads, mainstream servers 32 threads. You have to think different of developing applications for the marketplace," he told conference attendees. "We are dead serious about developing dual-cores."
For the desktop, the Pentium D 800-series will make its debut as a dual-core processor that integrates two merged dies in one package. Its successor Presler will move to two individual dies that allows Intel to select and match dies into one package. "If you yield a 3.2 and a 3.8 GHz processor die in a single-die package, then the clock speed of the processor will be 3.2 GHz," explained Intel spokesman Howard High. "With two individual dies, we can select dies that match in clock speeds which enables us to achieve the best possible frequency for the processor.