This year, continuing the theme of major announcements at ISSCC, Intel will be putting forward 16 papers, two more than last year, with the eight-core Xeon chip taking centre stage.
Based on the proven, scalable Nehalem architecture, the octo-core, 16-thread-capable Xeon will, presumably, take all the other benefits associated with the Nehalem line, including hyperthreading support, integrated memory-controller, and QPI links to the system and other processors in the box.
Weighing in at 2.3bn transistors, we reckon that the first batch of eight-core Xeons will fit into a 2P server environment, with 4P EX models to follow a little later on.
The move to octo-core processing, per CPU, was always going to happen in 2009, but it's a slight surprise to see it so early in the year. Announcement and shipping product are two very different animals, however.