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The world’s main supplier of microprocessors, Intel Corp., plans to offer a central processing unit for servers, which will be 15 times faster compared to today’s chips and which will contain up to 32 processing engines, according to a media report.

The processor code-named Gulftown will have “eight processing nodes” with four cores on each one, according to TG Daily web-site, which may mean that the chip will consist of several physical dice. Every die will sport four processing engines, 3MB unified level-three cache, while every core will have 512KB L2 cache. The dice will be connected to each other using “a ring architecture” interconnect technology.

Intel already reportedly has project named Keifer, which is focused around many-core processors. Keifer is generally aimed at server market and will primarily compete against Sun’s Niagara processors, which micro-architecture is used in the company’s UltraSparc T1 chips. So far Intel competed against ultra high-end server processors from Sun and IBM using its Itanium lineup of microprocessors. Currently it is unclear whether the Gulftown is based on the IA64 architecture, or still is an x86 microprocessor, however, on the slide published by TG Daily Intel’s Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest) chips are compared with the Gulftown.

Intel expects Keifer to result in a 15x performance jump over today's Xeon 5100 processors at just 2GHz clock speed, it is reported.

In 2010 Intel will use 32nm process technology to produce its processors, which will allow to make the Gulftown processor more or less cost efficient. Even though, there are no exact details concerning the matter and it is uncertain, whether such chips will cost Intel’s customers up to $3372 per unit, like today’s high-end Xeon MP or Itanium 2, or more.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.


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