We've known about this since the program was published a few months ago, but now that the Hot Chips conference is in full swing, Intel has confirmed that it is preparing to launch a ten-core server CPU. Based on the 32nm Westmere-EX architecture, the processor will support 20 threads for massive parallel-processing.
The company's current flagship multi-processor server CPUs are the 45nm X7500-series chips based on the Beckton architecture, which is also referred to as Nehalem-EX. These feature eight cores capable of running 16 threads at speeds of up to 2.26GHz with a 130W TDP.
The new models will be based on the same 32nm manufacturing process as the latest desktop and notebook Core 2010 processors. They will also be compatible with the LGA1567 interface that current high-end server motherboards use, making for an easy upgrade.
Unfortunately, the presentation didn't reveal any information about clock speeds, cache size or performance increases. However, The Register was on hand to collect a few extra details. According to the source, the chips will feature server-specific tweaks to the cache, memory controllers and the QPI to allow better communication between multiple CPUs.
The presentation didn't mention when these chips might be released, but we may still have to wait a while. Beckton was only released in March, so Intel will likely have plenty more development work to do before it can launch the new processors. On the other hand, with Sandy Bridge launching later this year, the company will surely want to release this processor so that it can start work on its next-generation server CPUs.