Intel’s Happy about Dual Core

While AMD has been touting dual core for quite some time, it’s looking like Intel will beat them to the punch - at least on the desktop.  Intel had a couple of interesting announcements this morning as well.

The first thing they sent out to us was an interesting fact - that Intel has 11 multi-core projects that they’re working on for the 2005 - 2006 time period.  Doing a quick number check we’re left with the following breakdown:

3 - “Smithfield” based Pentium 4 8xx series CPUs
1 - dual core Pentium 4 Extreme Edition
3 - “Yonah” based Pentium M CPUs (in 2006)

That leaves us with four unaccounted for chips - we’d expect Xeon and Itanium to fill in those blanks nicely.

Intel confirmed what we wrote about in our most recent roadmaps - the first dual core desktop CPUs will be arriving next quarter.  Intel is going to be releasing two CPUs, one 90nm Extreme Edition and one 90nm Pentium 4 8xx model. 

What’s interesting is that the 90nm dual core Pentium 4 Extreme Edition will feature Hyper Threading support, something that is left out of the regular Pentium 4 8xx series.  A Hyper Threading enabled dual core Pentium 4 EE would mean 4 logical processors, capable of executing 4 simultaneous threads across the two physical cores.  It looks like the EE chip will be launched with the new 955X chipset (Glenwood), with support for the 1066MHz FSB and DDR2-667 support.  We often wondered why Intel wasn’t using the 1066MHz FSB with their Smithfield dual core processors, now we know - Intel’s saving the faster FSB for their price premium Extreme Edition part. 

The Pentium 4 8xx CPU, which we’ve already talked about in great detail, won’t have Hyper Threading support and will use the 800MHz FSB.  The 8xx series will run on either the 955X or on upcoming 945 based motherboards, but not on present  925/915 solutions.

The 90nm dual core solutions have just completed initial production runs and they should be ready to go by Q2.

Intel also announced that they have production samples of their first dual core 65nm CPUs - none other than Yonah (Jonah).  Given the diligence of Intel’s Pentium M team in Israel, it’s no surprise to see a chip that’s supposed to be released at the beginning of next year already up and running in labs. 

More info as we get it....



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  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - link


    Actually it seems Prescott doesn't want more memory bandwidth AT ALL, so XDR would do nothing. It seems Prescott is designed for nothing but clock speed scaling, it cares nothing about cache, nothing about bandwidth, perfect for scaling clock speeds since increase in clock speed=more bandwidth requirement but since Prescott doesn't care, its all good. Its all moot now though.

    If you want to see that go to for reviews. The 2MB cache Prescotts do absolutely nothing for performance while costing 20% more. So does the 3.73GHz Prescott 2M EE, even with 1066MHz bus its slower than 3.46GHz Northwood 2MB L3 1066MHz bus EE.
  • stevty2889 - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    I was worried for a second there when the mentioned rambus and Intel dual core in the heading together..although it would be interesting to see how much the Prescott would like all the bandwidth XDR ram could provide.. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    Don't get so down on Rambus, guys. Did they cause some trouble initially? Yes. But then, AMD, Intel, ATI, NVIDIA, VIA.... Just about any major technology company has made a product that people didn't like, or one that was timed poorly, offered less than acceptable performance, etc. Rambus is actually some pretty interesting stuff at the low level. The basic point of any memory technology was covered in the memory article we published a while ago:

    "Any design can be modified to work with higher or lower latencies; it is but one facet of the overall goal which needs to be addressed."

    That is the heart of the whole Rambus problem. The Pentium 3 was not designed AT ALL to make use of Rambus. It couldn't really use DDR well either, although Intel never pursued that. The Pentium 4 actually made very good use of Rambus, and up until the 865/875 were released, the Rambus chipsets (850/850E) were the fastest performing P4 chipsets. Graphics chips in particular are usually quite happy with higher latencies as long as they also get higher bandwidth. XDR certainly offers that!

    XDR at 400 MHz octal-pumped gives 3.2 GHz per pin, so a 64-bit interface can provide a whopping 25.6 GB/s of bandwidth. Yeah, the 256-bit interface on an X850XT or 6800U provides more total bandwidth, but only by using four times as many pins. Considering most graphics chips with 64-bit DDR solutions are only providing 3.2 GB/s of bandwidth, XDR is very interesting.

    We'll see how the actual implementation turns out. Personally, I would not be at all surprised to see NVIDIA try XDR with an upcoming GPU. The "royalty problem" of Rambus really isn't that big of a deal in the larger scheme of things. Remember that Pentium, Athlon, Opteron, etc. are all proprietary technologies that have a built-in "royalty" to their designers.
  • knitecrow - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    The flexIO sounds interesting, does any one acutally know what the bandwidth is like for such an IO and how does it compare to hypertransport?

  • Brian23 - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    #2, Who says that I'm going to connect my PS3 to the internet? If I just use it as a game machine, sony can't do anything with my hardware. Even if I did connect it to the internet, I HIGHLY doubt that there is a backdoor for sony to do stuff to it. It would just be a hole for someone to exploit. Reply
  • xsilver - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    is there any word / ideas on the possbility of overclocking in the dual core p4's ? running 800mhz fsb may not make that easy but........

    and also with rambus I think a lot of people will take the stance of "I'll believe it when I see it" since so many people still have a bad taste in their mouths :)
  • DestruyaUR - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    Anyone else think it's kind of odd that Cells are using Rambus, a technology we were ALSO told was going to revolutionize computing as we then knew it?

    Also, I'd like to know - since Cell's power depends on interconnectivity, is there a central compromisable link to control the network it'll create.

    A conspiracy theorist could almost make the case that Sony would have access to one of, if not THE, most powerful supercomputer in the world...and if not them, whoever could compromise the net.
  • MarchTheMonth - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    I really think amd will release a press info tomorrow that they will have dual core opterons and athlon64's ready 2 days before intel will have their dualies out. Reply

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