The Server Side of Things

With the exception of Yonah showing up where Xeon should be, there is very little new for servers.

Dual core is inevitably moving toward servers, and the chip that will spearhead that launch is Dempsey. Dempsey is similar to Smithfield, but at the same time, it offers HyperThreading support, 1066FSB, Demand Based Switching and Vanderpool Technology. Expect Dempsey to show up around Q1'06. The enterprise version of Dempsey, dubbed Paxville, will act as the enterprise large cache version of Dempsey, but at a slower 800MHz front side bus. Expect Paxville at about the same time as Dempsey. Intel makes specific note on the roadmap that the processor brand name for Paxville and Dempsey is TBD - maybe Xeon has had its end?

Intel Single Core Volume Server Lineup LGA775

Chipset

FSB Clock

Cache Size

Launch

Xeon 3.6GHz

667MHz

2MB L2

Q4'05

Xeon 3.4GHz

667MHz

2MB L2

Soon

Xeon 3.2GHz

667MHz

2MB L2

Soon

Xeon 3.0GHz

667MHz

2MB L2

Soon

Xeon 2.8GHz

667MHz

2MB L2

Q3'05


Until dual core shows up on servers, we have to settle for Iriwindale (Prescott 2M) server chipsets. Since Nocona 3.8GHz and 4.0GHz were canceled, there hasn't been much news on the server lineup. All new 3.4GHz and faster Irwindale chipsets will receive support for DBS (Demand Based Switching), but otherwise remain identical in core to their slower alternatives. Potomac and Cranford have all of their SKUs announced until Paxville comes along next year.

Dempsey and Paxville will need a new platform to run on. As in chipsets past, there are two next generation chipisets for server motherboards: Greencreek (the successor to E7535), and Blackford (the successor to E7520 and E7320). Blackford and Blackford VS are the base chipsets supporting dual core server processors. Blackford will support 4 FBD channels, 3 PCIe x8 segments and a total of 64GB of memory. Vanderpool Technology is supported on the motherboard as well as iAMT. Greencreek differs slightly by using two of its PCIe x8 segments for an x16 PCIe graphics slot and a snoop filter. Both chips also support 64bit PCI-X and PCI.

Closing Thoughts

There are clearly some interesting things moving forward inside Intel. The Sossaman project is probably one of our more favorite tidbits - four core Yonah blades would certainly pique our attention. The slightly lower clockspeed has us concerned about whether or not Yonah will really be able to compete with similar offerings from AMD and even Pentium D processors at the same time, but the incredibly low power requirements are enough to impress anyone.

The unified Broadwater family scheduled to replace 945P and 955X a year from now also has our attention. There was some speculation several months ago about Intel unifying their Xeon and Itanium socket design within the next year or so. While the roadmaps certainly don't indicate anything like that, unifying the desktop chipset families first might be a step toward that sort of unification.

Yonah Yonah Yonah
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  • cssmicro - Friday, July 22, 2005 - link

    50 - I don't think you realize how cost-inneffective it is to create a completely new process flow or sort flow just to turn off a feature. Creating a different chip costs many hundreds of thousands of dollars PER LAYER that's changed. The mask changes alone would cost about half of a million dollars per reticle. Forget about the engineering initiative necessary to design the changes. It would be retarded of Intel to make a move like that. 45 hit the nail right on the head. The same products will be made, and then filtered out by working/non-working parts at end of line sorting.

    You don't really think your graphics / non-graphics chipsets are MADE differently, do you? (PSST, they're not). Simply put, they're all tested at the end of production. Some have working graphics sub-systems, some don't. They're distributed accordingly.
    Reply
  • cornflake - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    I'm not sure how much Intel paid AnandTech for this article, but it must be a grundle to shovel it like this...

    "As a dual core solution, Yonah is the most advanced (other than perhaps Itanium 2 Monticeto) solution that we have seen out of either AMD or Intel."

    Wow, so they have some cool new integrated memory controller in place to leap frog AMD. NO, well then what about the new Intel branded Hyper-transport knock off they are working on? Oh well, at least we can look forward to some big Intel adds on AnandTech in the coming months!

    Perhaps when AnandTech talks about how advanced a platform is, they should wait until they can compare the performance with others as they did recently in their article...

    http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2447


    AMD is a full generation ahead in technology and a generation behind in fluff.
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Friday, June 17, 2005 - link

    What matters is how fast Corporates embrace 64-bit outside the Enterprise app level (since most are still mainframe or at least Unix based). Generally technology and software updates are slow to rollout due to costs, contracts, stability, etc. If, somehow, 64-bit was to become part of the mainstream corporate app profile - THEN it will matter if Intel has a 64-bit mobile (laptop) processor.

    I would add at least one year past when Longhorn finally debuts before you see a major shift towards 64-bit. Until then it won't be a big deal IMO.
    Reply
  • apriest - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Dual Dempsey's sounds intriguing... and dang expensive I'll wager... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    52:
    Add 1 for EM64T support on 5xx and 3xx CPUs.
    Add 2 for VT support on 6xx CPUs.
    Add 3 for 65nm 6xx CPUs that overlap 90nm parts (and have VT).

    Otherwise, it's basically higher numbers within the same family gives better performance/features. It's a way to de-emphasize MHz/GHz, since we may be plateauing on clock speeds for a while. Intel spent so long convincing people to upgrade PCs for an extra 400 MHz that they now need to change tactics. Smart marketing, really.
    Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    for the love of god, can someone explain INTELs not so new naming scheme? I cant make 1 bit of sense from it, it just leaves me mystified.

    I mean come on!! at least with AMD we knew the 3000+ meant somewhat-roughly-equivalent to a pentium of 3000mhz. gah!
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Another point with Yonah is that it is intended to be a low-power consuming Mobile design, not desktop. Most laptop users have no need of a faster CPU but do want longer battery life / smaller lighter battery etc.

    Given that the whole design of the Pentium M chips (Banias -> Dothan -> Yonah) is about saving power by artificially limiting the maximum intended clock speed, it makes sense for Intel to make Yonah no faster than Dothan so that they can further reduce the power consumption of the processor at any given speed compared to what it would draw if the design could reach, say 2.5GHz.

    It doesn't seem at all surprising to me that Yonah will be little or no higher clocked than Dothan as there is little demand for the extra speed but plenty of demand for reduced power consumption.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    45 - Possibly, but as we indicated in the article, it's just a guess. As I understand it, Vanderpool (VT) isn't adding a lot to the die size - actually, it's been present since the Prescott 2M/Irwindale cores, but deactivated. I'm more inclined to believe that Intel is just trying to separate the market: charge more for VT enabled chips, as they will go to server/workstation systems which tend to cost more.
    -----------
    Regarding clock speed, while it's true that clockspeed isn't everything, we're essentially looking at a process shrink that isn't improving the top speed of CPUs at all. Yonah is pretty much Dothan (maybe) with dual cores. Banias topped out at 1.7 GHz, Dothan topped out at 2.26 (or will in a while), and Yonah is launching at 2.13 GHz max. It's surprising, that's all.

    While MHz/GHz are not everything, the basic fact remains that similar architectures running at the same clock speed will perform similarly. Dothan 2.13 GHz will match a single core Yonah 2.13 GHz barring any drastic changes to the underlying architecture. Merom is the next major change in the underlying architecture, so we'll have a CPU that may be as much as 50% faster at the same clock speed.

    Taking a more pragmatic look at the CPU environment, it's sort of interesting that the fastest (official) Northwood cores were 3.4 GHz and Prescott with 90nm and a longer pipeline only bumped that up 400 MHz. Willamette topped out at 2.4 GHz, so the 180nm to 130nm transition increased top CPU spped by 1000 MHz - 42% instead of only 12%!

    Think AMD's done much better? The fastest 130nm chips from AMD were the FX-55 (2.6 GHz) and right now it doesn't look like they'll release anything above 2.8 GHz with 90nm SOI! Even if we throw out the FX-55 (which is a bit of a special case, since it's the only 130nm AMD chip with strained silicon), AMD still only went up 400 MHz with the transition - 17%.

    The best we saw out of AMD/Intel for the transition to 90nm was a 33% speed bump from Banias to Dothan, but it sounds like that was also accompanies by a slightly longer pipeline.

    If we got as much as a 50% speed increase going from 180nm to 130nm, and only a 33% going from 130nm to 90nm (even with adding copper, SOI, and strained silicon), what will 65nm bring? A maximum of a 20% speed increase for the same design? Maybe even less? Time will tell, but I find it an interesting trend to say the least!
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Yonah was the only thing worth looking at. This is certainly no 'offensive' by Intel. Reply
  • Pandaren - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    People keep shouting about 64-bits, but 64-bits won't make a difference to the vast majority of users. Most of the people I know who use computers surf the web, write email, print pictures, and other very basic tasks. In the corporate space, the transition to 64-bit will be glacial. The place I'm working at has used Windows 2000 for almost four years now and has no plans to change. They aren't the only ones:

    http://news.com.com/The+slow+road+to+Windows+XP/21...

    The only ones 64-bit will make a difference to are the very small percentage of people who actually need it, and the fanbois who buy the biggest for the sake of having the biggest.

    Reply

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