IBM is expected to push its next-generation Power6 dual-core processors to run at higher speeds, rather than following the Intel/AMD concept for high-end computing that packs more cores on a die.
The new CPU will run at speeds between 4-5GHz with a total of 8Mbytes L2 cache and a 75Gbyte/second link to external memory, according to EETImes.com.
The Power6 doubles the frequency and bandwidth of the existing Power5 without increasing its power consumption or the depth of its execution pipeline. The move lets IBM ship the chip as a mid-2007 refresh for its existing p-series server line.
"We needed to scale the whole system. When you just pack on more cores and don't scale the cache and memory bandwidth you can't really scale CPU performance as well," said Brad McCredie, a fellow in IBM's Systems and Technology Group.
The Power6 will essentially follow the pattern set by IBM with the Power4 and 5 CPUs. The Power4 was among the first computer CPUs to put two cores on a single die. The company packed two dice on a single module for high-end versions of the chip. Intel likewise plans to use multi-chip modules to pack two dual-core dice on a family of quad-core chip modules it will start introducing in November.