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Apparently, Intel Corp. still does not seem to be sure about the release date of its octa-core microprocessor for multi-processor servers. A high-ranking executive from the world’s largest maker of microprocessors said in an interview that at the moment Intel aims to ship the new Xeon MP processor with eight cores either late in 2009 or early in 2010.

“What you’ll get at the beginning of next year – late this year or the beginning of next year – will be the push into the four-socket, eight-socket, and above space,” said Shannon Poulin, Xeon platform director in Intel's server products group, in an interview with IDG News Services.

Intel Xeon processor with eight cores 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.

According to documents seen by X-bit labs early this year, Intel does not have plans to release Nehalem EX this year.

Tags: Intel, 45nm, Beckton, Nehalem

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