Intel Corp.’s chief executive officer Paul Otellini said during a conference call with financial analysts that the chipmaker has initiated shipments of its new microprocessors based on Nehalem micro-architecture. The new chips will enable higher performance and will also utilize radically different platform architecture that will resemble that of Advanced Micro Devices.
Intel Core i7/Nehalem Now Shipping
“I am pleased to announce that we began shipments of our Nehalem product family during the third quarter and expect to formally launch these products in November. Nehalem brings a new micro-architecture and new performance features. This new product family will further extend our performance leadership in microprocessors,” said Mr. Otellini while announcing financial results for the third quarter.
Mr. Otellini said that despite of economy crisis Intel intends to release its Core i7 as well as Xeon processors based on Nehalem micro-architecture as soon as possible in order to boost demand in certain market segments, which would naturally offset lowering demand from corporate segment in the USA.
“We are trying to pull them in as fast as possible. I think having those products simply makes us even more competitive and I think they generate some demand in some segments where we haven’t been participating, so that’s one where I feel pretty good about the product line and the sooner we get to it, the better across the board,” said chief executive of Intel Corp.
The release of Intel Xeon processors powered by Nehalem micro-architecture will particularly improve Intel’s positions on the market of servers, where AMD still can offer a lot of advantages over rival’s offerings. Given that Intel’s desktop processors aimed at professionals and entertainment enthusiasts are already faster than those from AMD, the chip giant only needs new chips in that segment to encourage end-users for upgrades.
Best Third Quarter Revenue in Its History – Intel
Intel on Tuesday announced record third-quarter revenue of $10.2 billion along with operating income of $3.1 billion, net income of $2 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of 35 cents.
“Intel delivered the best third-quarter revenue in its history. We were solidly profitable, with operating income of over $3 billion, reflecting strong across-the-board execution and best-of-class products” said Paul Otellini.
The company said that strong product portfolio and new product launches will help the company to remain successful amid financial crisis.
“As we look to Q4, it is hard to know what impact the financial crisis will have on end customer demand. We are confident that our product portfolio, strong cash flow, commitment to deploying new technology and market momentum will allow us to outpace peer companies at a time when business levels are difficult to predict,” the head of Intel promised.
New Chips Set to Boost Performance by 52%
Documents from Intel Corp. allegedly seen by a web-site earlier this month reportedly mention that Intel Core i7 processor 965 (3.0GHz) delivers 52% speed improvement in 3D games, 41% higher performance in media encoding and editing applications as well as 38% greater 3D rendering speed when compared to Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (3.0GHz). If the information regarding performance improvements is correct, then it means that the new micro-architecture in its first implementation provides roughly 52% more performance at the same clock-speed compared to currently used Core 2 micro-architecture.
The main micro-architectural enhancement for Intel Core i7/Nehalem that Intel has discussed so far is increased parallelism – the new microprocessors will be able to execute 33% more concurrent micro-ops at the same time. Additional improvements include faster unaligned cache accesses and faster synchronization primitives. In order to exclude situations when execution units stand idle, Intel also implemented new 2nd level branch predictor.
Another key enhancement of Intel Nehalem is completely redesigned cache sub-system. The new chips will feature 2nd level 512 entry translation look-aside buffer (in addition to 1st level TLB) in order to further reduce the so-called TLB miss rate, a completely new feature on x86 microprocessors. In addition, Intel Nehalem processors (at least, in certain implementations) will have three-level cache hierarchy: 64KB L1 (32KB for data, 32KB for instructions), 256KB L2 cache per core, 8MB L3 cache per processor. Traditionally, Intel chips use inclusive cache policy.
The Intel Core i7 chips will feature triple-channel DDR3 memory controller (with up to 1333MHz clock-speed supported initially), will use Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus and will support multi-threading technology similar with Intel Hyper-Threading that was first unveiled back in 2002 as well as SSE4.2 instructions.