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Intel Announces The Core i7 Processor

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  • Intel Announces The Core i7 Processor

    Phoronix: Intel Announces The Core i7 Processor

    There was the Core and Core 2 series of Intel desktop processors with Solo, Duo, Quad, and Extreme postfixes, while today Intel has announced their Core series will continue with their upcoming Nehalem processors. The processors based around their forthcoming Nehalem micro-architecture will be branded as the Intel Core i7. The Nehalem architecture supports dual, quad, and octal core processors based on a 45nm manufacturing process, introduces an integrated DDR3 memory controller on the CPU die, uses Intel QuickPath Interconnect technology, and simultaneous multi-threading...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NjY0OQ

  • #2
    Core i7!? CORE I7!? And here I thought the naming on the Celeron D vs Pentium D was stupid.

    What happened to Core 3? It sounds big, it's the logical step, it's simple to understand. I hate it when these marketing guys run loose...

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    • #3
      Well it is not compatible with socket 775, I guess thats why they wanted a new name.

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      • #4
        Death of the FSB Long Live QuickPath

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        • #5
          Quick Path has about a year

          Quick Path will only be on i7 CPUs for a year or so. Then they will just have PCI-Express.

          Now that the memory path is not how Intel segments the market, Intel must find a new way to overcharge high-end users. They will do this by starving the CPU-to-everything connection.

          The mainstream will get one PCI-Express path (16x), while the high-end will pay a small fortune to get Quick Path (on the roadmap) or (perhaps) more PCI-E lanes.

          Intel is about sucking your wallet dry, and their focus will switch from memory-related (FSB, Cache, etc.) to interconnect bandwidth.

          Keywords:
          Market segmentation
          Monopoly Profits
          Rate Fences
          Price Discrimination

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          • #6
            I will say this much...

            We (My day job at Tektronix...) have a Nehalem based eval board in hand in the Quad configuration under review for suitability to task and performance for an ATCA configuration using Embedded Linux to drive it all. So far, it seems pretty solid and rather fast compared to the older stuff we've been futzing with...

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            • #7
              Ok lets get this right.. Quickpath is NOT the replacement for the PCI-express bus. It's the replacement for the FSB. Quickpath enables the onchip memory controller to interface with the memory. Intel has no incentive to replace it with PCI-x of all things coz of 2 reasons

              1. PCI-x was not specifically designed for this
              2. Even traditional FSB provides bandwidth comparable to PCi-x

              The basic reason intel has gone for a faster switch based interconnect like quickpath is to ensure that it can feed it's hungry cores with memory ASAP. If this interface becomes the bottleneck then the performance may drop by a HUGE amount especially in memory intensive applications

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              • #8
                karthikrg

                Nehalem have integrated memory controller. Aside from SMP systems, the QPI doesn't mean much. As the CPU to RAM bottle neck is gone and CPU to everything else doens't need enormous amount of bandwidth anyway.

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                • #9
                  Integrated memory controller ==> on-chip memory controller in my post above. For "everything else" on the motherboard, PCI-express is gud enough. QPI will mean a lot especially on massively multicore systems as they will need to be fed data from the memory at a very fast pace. And thats the direction (multicore) being taken by Intel as well as AMD.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kano View Post
                    Well it is not compatible with socket 775, I guess thats why they wanted a new name.
                    Intel made Pentium 4s for three different sockets- PGA423, mPGA478, and LGA775 and made both P4s and Cores on LGA775.

                    The "Core i7" name sucks as even though Intel was the original user of the "i" prefix (i386, etc.) in naming, it sounds like something the black turtleneck crew came up with. "Core" sucks as a brand name too- did they have Abbott and Costello come up with that one, with two-core Cores and then Core 2s. Intel is randomly using the Pentium brand name as well, so I think a new brand name ending with an "ium" or "on" suffix is needed. How about "Cerebron" or "Velocium?"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by karthikrg View Post
                      Ok lets get this right.. Quickpath is NOT the replacement for the PCI-express bus. It's the replacement for the FSB. Quickpath enables the onchip memory controller to interface with the memory. Intel has no incentive to replace it with PCI-x of all things coz of 2 reasons

                      1. PCI-x was not specifically designed for this
                      2. Even traditional FSB provides bandwidth comparable to PCi-x

                      The basic reason intel has gone for a faster switch based interconnect like quickpath is to ensure that it can feed it's hungry cores with memory ASAP. If this interface becomes the bottleneck then the performance may drop by a HUGE amount especially in memory intensive applications
                      You are partially correct. QuickPath is the replacement for *part* of the functions of the FSB. The Nehalem is exactly like AMD K8 and K10 setups. Every Nehalem CPU has an integrated RAM controller that talks *directly* to memory, just like K8s and K10s. QuickPath serves the same purpose as HyperTransport, which is to talk to the chipset and in multiple-socket setups, to talk to other CPUs. So:

                      - In a single-socket setup, all data from memory goes directly to the CPU. The QuickPath interface does NOT carry information from RAM to the CPU. It merely allows for communication between the CPU and the chipset.
                      - In a multi-socket setup, you have a non-uniform memory access (NUMA) arrangement as you have your data spread over two or more independent banks of RAM. If you are CPU 0 accessing data from RAM attached to CPU 0, no data travels over the QuickPath link. If you are CPU 1 trying to access the same information, then you have to go over the QuickPath link to use CPU 0's memory controller to get the data from its RAM bank.

                      If Intel decides to pitch QuickPath in favor of PCI Express, it will ONLY affect multi-socket setups. (And they will not ditch QPI for socket-to-socket communication as data from RAM *does* travel over that link.) No data from RAM ever travels to the CPU over QuickPath in a single-socket setup and the CPU<->chipset link is a relatively low-bandwidth one, so going to PCIe there is no big deal. In fact, AMD is going from HyperTransport to PCIe for the CPU-to-chipset link in their upcoming mobile processors, meaning that those chips will have NO HT links at all. It will make no difference in performance.

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