Intel Hexa-core Processors coming soon
Subject: Processors | February 25, 2008 - 11:40 AM | Ryan Shrout
Information has hit the web courtesy of some clumsy IT at Sun Microsystems that shows Intel's plans for a 6-core (or Hexa-core) processors based on the existing Penryn core. Codenamed the "Dunnington", perhaps in a nod to what they are hoping AMD will be after its release (get it, "done"-ington?), the CPU will feature three seperate dies each with their own dual-core setup and each with their own 3MB of L2 cache. All six cores will then share in a 16MB portion of L3 cache, setting up a cache hierarchy much like that of AMD's Barcelona CPUs.
Since these Dunnington processors are still based on Penryn, they will continue to use a front-side bus, labeled as 1066 MHz in the slide from Sun, but hopefully that's an oversight. They will run on the existing Clarksboro chipset and use the mPGA 604 pin socket, making them compatible with existing Xeon Tigerton processors. The TDP of Dunnington is listed as 130 watts, signaling that clock speeds will be somewhat lower than the 3.0 GHz we are currently seeing on quad-core parts that hae 150 watt TDPs.
These are due out in the second half of this year.
Dunnington includes 16MB
of L3 cache shared by all six processors. Each pair of cores can also
access 3MB of local L2 cache. The end result is a design very similar
to the AMD Barcelona quad-core processor; however, each Barcelona core contains 512KB L2 cache, whereas Dunnington cores share L2 cache in pairs.
To sweeten the deal, all Dunnington processors will be pin-compatible with Intel Tigerton processors, and work with the existing Clarksboro chipset.
Intel's slide claims this processor will launch in the second half of
2008 -- a figure consistent with previous roadmaps from the company.
The leaked slide deck also includes more information about Intel's Penryn successor, codenamed Nehalem. Nehalem is everything Penryn is
-- 45nm, SSE4, quad-core -- and then some. For starters, Intel will
abandon the front-side bus model in favor of QuickPath Interconnect; a
serial bus similar to HyperTransport.