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IDF Spring 2005: Intel Multi-Core strategy

by David Ross on 1 March 2005, 00:00

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IDF Spring 2005: Intel Multi-Core strategy

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It does not take a genius to predict that Intel would be going Dual Core mad at this IDF, and sure enough, the second session of the first day was dedicated to us being informed of their latest multi-core enhancements.

Intel in 2005 will be launching dual core across all platforms – this is over 15 dual core microprocessors. One interesting transition is that Intel are moving away from the speed “fetish” and moving to adding more features to create a more capable microprocessor.

As we had already reported as a HEXUS.bean, Intel’s first processor for the ‘desktop’ market will be that of a Pentium Processor Extreme Edition, this will have 2 physical cores and 2 sets of cache. Intel have now dropped the ‘4’ name from their lineup of CPUs. In order to run a dual core CPU you will be required to have a 945 or 955X chipset based mainboard.

Intel’s definition of a ‘multi-core’ package is that of one which can carry out 2 or more independent executions on the same processor. The Smithfield (Pentium D) will have 2 cores running on the same die – this will be a monolithic based processor.

On the mobile front, Intel plan to deliver the napa technology which will encapsulate the Yonah 65nm based Processor, with Calistoga Integrated graphics. The platform will also have Golan MiniCard, all of which will aim to increase overall battery life as well as retain a performance edge.

Intel have reduced the cache-per-core on the Extreme Edition (840 CPU) which will have the following specifications:

3.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
2MB L2 Cache (1MB Per core)
800MHz FSB
Intel iAMD64
Execute Diable Bit

The processor will be built on a 90nm production line and come in a LGA775 Package. The die size of this core is 206mm2 with around 230m transistors.

Other features will be included which really does turn this in to an enthusiast’s processor (watch this space!).

The 955X platform will have support for 800/1066 bus, with Dual 16X PCI-E support, Intel High Definition Audio, 8 USB 2.0 Ports, dual Channel 667 memory, with RAID support in 0, 1, 5, 10.

The most interesting move is Intel acknowledging that the speed race is truly over and the introduction of more technical features within the core in the form of an increased feature set is the route which Intel will be taking…