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Intel Launches Eight Core, 16 Thread Nehalem-EX

UPDATE: We've added in a couple new videos from Intel and IBM talking about the Nehalem-EX architecture and application.

In the enthusiast space for Intel fans, Gulftown may have just arrived with its hexacore power, but the world's largest chipmaker has a special new product for the server space.

Intel today launched the Xeon 7500 processor series, which offers up to eight cores packed in a single chip that's able to handle 16 threads at once.  Systems can include up to 256 chips per server to combine for 2,048 cores and 4,098 threads.

"The Xeon 7500 brings mission critical capabilities to the mainstream by delivering the most significant leap in performance, scalability and reliability ever seen from Intel," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president of the Intel architecture group and general manager of Intel's data center group. "This combination will help users push to new levels of productivity, and accelerate the industry's migration away from proprietary architectures. We are democratizing high-end computing."

This Xeon series is the first of the family to possess Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery, a feature that allows the silicon to work with the operating system and virtual machine manager to recover from otherwise fatal system errors, a mechanism until now found only in the company's Itanium processor family and RISC processors.

The new Nehalem-EX chips won't be cheap though; the hexacore X7542 model starts at $1,980 and the octacore X7560 is $3,692.

Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.