Intel Slates 'Nehalem' for Q4 2008

Intel's corporate roadmap reveals additional details about its desktop iteration of 45nm quad-core Nehalem, dubbed Bloomfield. Nehalem will be fundamentally different from the Core architecture since the company plans to move the memory controller from the core logic on the motherboard to the processor die and Nehalem will also feature a new bus interconnect, currently dubbed Quick Path Interconnect. The former has been a cornerstone for the AMD K8 architecture since 2003 and the latter behaves very similar to HyperTransport, currently used on all AMD platforms since K8. A new bus and memory controller results in a new socket design, labelled LGA1366, meaning existing motherboards are not compatible with Nehalem-based processors.

The company will replace the X38 and yet to be announced X48 desktop chipsets with the Tylersburg chipset family and ICH10 southbridge for these first LGA1366 motherboards. Corporate guidance also suggests the company will likely ditch all DDR2 support in favor of DDR3, at least on the high end platforms. All Bloomfield processors will support three DDR3 channels. Bloomfield is expected to feature a new revision of Hyper-Threading: the processor will dynamically allocate additional threads – Bloomfield computers will detect eight logical cores. Unlike the 12MB L2 cache featured on high-end 45nm Penryn, slated for release between now and Q4 2008, the 8MB L2 cache on all Nehalem offerings can be shared between all four on-die cores. Intel's highest-end Bloomfield processors will feature a 130W thermal envelope.

News source: DailyTech

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