Intel plans to offer a multichip package that combines two dual-core Xeon processors to create its first quad-core processor for servers.
Intel will likely be first to market with a quad-core x86-based processor early next year. But when the company unveiled the design of its quad-core processor at the Intel Developer Forum this week, it raised questions as to whether the processors really deserve the label "quad-core."
Using a similar strategy that it used when it introduced its first dual-core offerings, Intel plans to offer a multichip package that combines two of the upcoming dual-core Woodcrest Xeon processors to create its first quad-core processor for servers. Similarly, Intel plans to use two of its soon-to-be-released dual-core Conroe processors to create its Kentsfield quad-core processor for desktop PCs.
Intel used two single-core Pentium processors in a multichip package to create its first dual-core offering last year, the Pentium D. Intel later in the year introduced dual-core versions of its Pentium and Xeon processors that used a more conventional monolithic silicon substrate.
Advanced Micro Devices, by contrast, has used a monolithic, or what the company calls "native," implementation on it all its dual-core processor offerings. Brent Kerby, product marketing manager for AMD, says the company will again use a monolithic design for its first quad-core offerings, scheduled for the second half of 2007.
Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64, says the use of two separate pieces of silicon combined in a single package to create a dual-core or quad-core processor doesn't inherently make it a "less legitimate" multicore processor than a monolithic design. The use of multichip packaging to create its initial dual-core and quad-core processors has allowed Intel to get its new processors to market faster, he says. The result of a multichip packaged offering, however, is likely to net less of a performance gain than an equivalent monolithic design.
Although Intel executives at IDF didn't confirm plans to eventually introduce a monolithic quad-core processor, Brookwood says he believes Intel will make the move when it transitions from its current 65 nanometer manufacturing process technology to the 45 nanometer technology. The smaller-geometry manufacturing process will let Intel put the additional transistors of the quad-core structure in a smaller physical size than would be possible with a 65 nanometer process.
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
2018 State of the CloudCloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
The Next Generation of IT SupportThe workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device