Intel Corp. has been pretty skeptical about integrating memory controllers into the central processing units citing loss of flexibility, but it seems that the company may change its mind at least for server chips in about two years time with its unified Intel Xeon-Itanium platform.
“In 2007 Intel will standardize interface of the IA32 and IA64 processors and will integrate the memory controller into the CPU,” Eng Lim Goh, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of SGI told journalists at a press conference in Munich, Germany, reports Golem.de web-site.
The server microprocessors that will be available in 2007 will reportedly use common serial interconnect (CSI) bus instead of traditional processor system bus and will support FB DIMM memory modules. The first chip from Intel to have built-in memory controller is claimed to be Tukwila, a multi-core Intel Itanium processor.
Intel itself did not confirm plans to integrate memory controller into the CPUs, but that would be a logical move for the giant, as integrated memory controller is usually more efficient than an external one.
One of the targets Intel would like to address is to put on par the costs of Itanium and Xeon hardware sometimes in the middle of the decade. Then, customers will be free to decide which architecture to choose. Eventually, the more progressive and cost-effective architecture is likely to survive.
According to Intel’s estimations, by the end of 2007 all of the server processors the company will ship at that time will be either dual- or multi-core products, whereas in the performance desktop and performance notebook segments shipments of dual-core chips will account for more than 90%.