Intel Corp. will disclose details regarding its Intel Xeon processor with eight cores at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) that will be held in San Francisco, California, from the 8th to the 12th of February, 2009. This will be the first time that Intel will discuss its eight-core chips in detail and it is also likely that the company will unveil its approximate time of availability.
According to the official description of the session where Intel plans to announce details regarding the new processor, the 8-core 16-thread enterprise Intel Xeon processor based on code-named Nehalem micro-architecture has 2.3 billion transistors and is made using 45nm process technology. The chip that is known under Beckton code-name will have four point-to-point quick path interconnect links to connect to other processors as well as system I/O operating at up to 6.4GT/s. Like all Nehalem-class chips, this processor for expandable systems will feature built-in memory controller, which will have four channels. The processor will require a new platform with LGA-1567 sockets.
It is interesting to note that currently available code-named Bloomfield (Intel Core i7) processor features 731 million transistors, yet it has four cores, 1MB of L2 cache (256KB per core) as well as unified 8MB L3 cache. Considering the fact that the enterprise-class eight-core Intel Xeon chips have three times more transistors, it is highly likely that their cache sizes will be dramatically larger - some sources point to 24MB - and certain additional performance enhancements may be implemented.
When Intel showcased its code-named Nehalem microprocessor at Intel Developer Forum Fall 2007, the company indicated plans to ship its eight-core Xeon microprocessors in 2008.
“At the largest configuration that we'll ship in 2008, they'll be an eight-core product. Eight core on one die, and each core will have two threads. So, each eight-core die will be supporting 16 threads,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer and president of Intel Corp., at that time.
Recent confidential documents by Intel seen by X-bit labs did not contain any mentions of the octa-core chips designed for expandable enterprise-class systems due in 2009. Moreover, Intel also did not have plans to update the existing Intel Xeon 7400-series family of processors with four or six processing engines this year.