Intel’s Six-Core Desktop Chip to Retain Core i7 Brand, to Hit the Market Next Quarter

Intel Core i7 980X: Six-Cores, 3.33GHz, 14MB Cache

by Anton Shilov
12/14/2009 | 05:10 PM

Specifications of Intel Corp.’s six-core processor for desktops has emerged on the Internet. Based on the information, the novelty will operate at the same clock-speed as current high-end Extreme Edition processors, hence, will offer similar performance in single- or dual-threaded applications. What is noteworthy is that Intel decided to retain Core i7 branding for the code-named Gulftown processors.

 

Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition central processing unit (CPU) will have six cores with Hype-Threading enabled (thus, will be able to process up to 12 threads in total), will operate at 3.33GH, will feature 12MB of unified L3 cache (in addition to 64KB L1 cache per core and 256KB L2 cache per core, or 14MB of cache in total), triple-channel DDR3 memory controller and will be based on Westmere micro-architecture. The processor will be compatible with existing LGA1366/Intel X58 infrastructure and will have 130W thermal design power.

According to an image that resembles a slide from Intel’s roadmap (which has been published by PConline web-site), Intel will release its first six-core chip for desktops already in the first quarter of 2010, not in Q2 of next year, as previously planned.

Thanks to 32nm fabrication process, Intel managed to sustain clock-speed of its highest-performing six-core processor on the same level with quad-core offerings. As a result, the new central processing unit, which is likely to cost $999 or more when releases, will not only offer the benefits of six processing engines, but will also sustain performance of existing chips in applications that depend on CPU frequencies.

It is rather surprising that alleged Intel’s roadmap lists only one six-core processor for desktops. Moreover, earlier this year rumours transpired that Intel would use Core i9 name for its six-core chip. However, addition of two cores was only reflected by the model number, which is not logical from Intel’s current way of marking microprocessors.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.