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Intel Stuffing More Than 8 Cores Into Westmere-EX

Intel's octacore server chip, the Xeon 7500 Nehalem-EX, is built on the 45nm process. For the next big evolution of the Xeon line, Intel hopes to be pushing even more cores when it takes it flagship to the 32nm Westmere-EX generation.

While the Westmere 32nm technology is in the Xeon 5600, Intel plans to extend that technology to EX sometime next year.

Stephen Smith, vice president and director of PC client operations and enabling at Intel, said during a webcast speech that the upcoming Westmere-EX chips will be targeted at systems with four sockets or more. The good news is that the Westmere-EX chips will be socket compatible for those who have already invested in the latest Xeon servers.

"We are well along in development and we are confident that we have a product that will give us a great performance boost. It will go into the same sockets, so the idea here is the platform is an investment that the OEMs have made," said Smith, according to the IDG.

Although Intel didn't divulge any information on core counts or clock speeds, analysts see that hitting 12 cores (for 24 threads) is a likely possibility given that AMD already has its Magny-Cours product.

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.