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Quad Core Chips From Intel and AMD 412

Posted by Zonk
from the more-is-better dept.
lubricated writes "According to the San Fransisco Chronicle, in an effort to one-up AMD, Intel will be coming out with 4 core cpu's in 2007." From the article: "Chips with two cores have been the latest rage, with both Intel and AMD selling those microprocessors as their high-end offering. Apple Computer Inc.'s new iMac, which started selling last month, uses the dual-core chip ... Not to be outdone, Randy Allen, AMD's corporate vice president of server and workstation division, said Friday that his firm is working its own quad-core processor for release next year."
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Quad Core Chips From Intel and AMD

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  • The new race (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:20PM (#14697160)
    Say bye to the race to the Gigahertz. Say hello to the race to the core count
    • Re:The new race (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:24PM (#14697180) Homepage Journal
      Say bye to the race to the Gigahertz. Say hello to the race to the core count

      Really. It does seem that there's only so much that can be done to increase the clock. I hope this gives an impetus to improve multi-CPU software performance.
      • Re:The new race (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 4D6963 (933028)
        "I hope this gives an impetus to improve multi-CPU software performance."

        Yes, but there is the problem. With the Gigahertz race, you were sure to be able to enjoy the benefit. With multiple cores, you need software able to use these cores, am I wrong (I'm not really sure of what I'm talking about)? And so far we can't always fully exploit these multiple cores, am I wrong?

        • Re:The new race (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:46PM (#14697319)
          Not sure that with gigahertz we got to enjoy the benefits. Word on my 233MHz G3 worked as well as it did on 800MHz G4 as it does on my 2x2GHz G5 and as well as it does on my 3.2GHz P4.

          I really think in the "megahertz" race we didn't really enjoy the benefits in all areas of software. vi, emacs, text editor x don't really benifit from 3GHz over 333MHz. Someone who just pops open Word or Word Perfect and an email client doesn't benifit from something zoom zoom high GHz.

          On that note, quite a few things on OS X work better for CPU/usage on a pair of slower CPUs than on one fast CPU.
          • Re:The new race (Score:2, Insightful)

            by 4D6963 (933028)
            "Word on my 233MHz G3 worked as well as it did on 800MHz G4 as it does on my 2x2GHz G5 and as well as it does on my 3.2GHz P4."

            What you just said reminds me of something I read before, it was something like "Computers in 93 used to run Word as fast as on "I really think in the "megahertz" race we didn't really enjoy the benefits in all areas of software. vi, emacs, text editor x don't really benifit from 3GHz over 333MHz."

            Suuure. It didn't benefit much for NetHack neither, but what kind of improvement can y

          • Re:The new race (Score:5, Insightful)

            by luvirini (753157) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:32PM (#14697557)
            Even if you did not need a fast computer you were able to enjoy gigahertz race, just buy the slowest computer there is, and enjoy the other side of it.. slower things became cheaper.
        • There are plenty of applications that can exploit multiple CPUs or cores. Most video encoding packages will encode a single stream using as many cores as possible (encoding is easily done parallel).

          Other apps get an entire core to themselves, while the O/S and background tasks run on the other cores. This makes for a snappier system because the UI threads aren't competing for CPU time on a clogged CPU.

        • With multiple cores, you need software able to use these cores,

          Not necessarily, which is to say, not at all. If all you use your computer for is one CPU-intensive thing (games or rendering or Mathematica), then yes you won't get all the benefit. But computers today run so many tasks simultaneously (one per window, plus init, swapper, inetd, cron, lockd, statd, X server, plus whatever else you're doing) that you'll get some benefit regardless what you run. I still have issues occasionally when my XP box a
        • Re:The new race (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:17AM (#14698030)
          With multiple cores, you need software able to use these cores, am I wrong
          The transition from single-threaded to multi-threaded is fundamental, and will require a permanant increase in code complexity that we'll all have to learn to live with. However, the transition from 2 to 4 to more should be little or no trouble. At this point only a foolish programmer would think in terms of exactly 2 cores instead of N cores.

          The main mistake I think people are making is the idea of having each thread do something different, e.g. one thread for graphics and one for AI. To harness a large number of cores equally, we need libaries which divide up big repetitive tasks (say, collision detection or matrix multiplication) into a large number of chunks. Of course you can't write heavily procedural logic that way, (say, a word processor), but for the most part that stuff runs fast enough on one core anyways.

    • by CyricZ (887944)
      This is a trend that may play out well for SGI and Sun. Both have been building systems which involve a massive number of CPUs for quite a while now. They have the experience that Microsoft doesn't have, for instance.

      IRIX and Solaris are known to scale far beyond 4 processors. They're proven technologies that are known to work very well on multiprocessored systems.

      SGI could easily use this to their advantage, releasing affordable systems that offer the benefit of IRIX on such machines. If they can come out
      • ...except that neither SGI nor Sun has the foresight or initiative to grab the opportunity, and never will. Sure, it's sad, but it's true.
      • Octacore (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drix (4602) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:55PM (#14697373) Homepage
        Why wait? Sun already makes processors with 8 cores [sun.com]. For realz.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:56PM (#14697375)
        Sun has been shipping 8 core T1 processors for a few months. T1000 and T2000 rack servers based on "CoolThreads" - whatever that is. See here: http://store.sun.com/CMTemplate/CEServlet?process= SunStore&cmdViewProduct_CP&catid=141649 [sun.com]. IBM has QuadCore Power5+ chips shipping any day now.

        Both Solaris and AIX scale over 100 CPUs already. Good luck AMD and Intel on getting Microsoft to create a standard OS (not their funny datacenter version) that is the same on 1 CPU or 124 CPU systems.
      • and Sun isn't far behind. IRIX 6.x was great technology five - seven years ago, but it's old hat now. And Solaris x86 is no Solaris/SPARC. MS should have no trouble scaling Windows up to four - eight cores in the next iteration. The only issue is what they will want to charge. Linux is already there.

        SGI and Sun aren't the winners here, I think....
      • Good for Linux (Score:2, Informative)

        by r00t (33219)
        Right now, SGI is using Linux on the 1024-way systems. Thanks to careful planning and IBM's help with the RCU patent, Linux scales way up. (and down too) Linux had the advantage of former Sun and SGI developers telling horror stories about what NOT to do.

        Windows represents CPUs using the bits in a machine word. On 64-bit hardware, you're limited to 64 CPUs. This is exposed in the ABI. Not that Windows would scale well for such a system, of course.

        Apple seems to be behind as well.
      • While operating systems that scale well certainly are important, I fear that not enough priority is being given to making properly multithreaded applications. Having a multithreaded OS can only take you so far without properly written applications to take advantage of those OS features.
      • by cyberjessy (444290) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:38PM (#14697578) Homepage
        Are you saying that people just woke up to this "trend"? The industry decided years ago that Mhz war will stop, and everyone will try to put more cores in. Its not like no-one else knew it was coming.

        IRIX and Solaris are known to scale far beyond 4 processors.
        So does almost every other OS. Linux scales to 1000s of processors, in IBMs supercomputers. Windows 2003 Datacenter supports 64 processors (Which is more than enough for a regular commercial application. In case you want more, instead of scaling up, you should be scaling OUT.) AIX, HP-UX etc also have great support.

        If they can come out with a system that appeals to developers and business users, then they could take on Apple, Sun, Dell and others again
        SGI competing with APPLE and DELL???? In what segment, but in the figment of your imagination?

        SGI?? They lost $100m in 2004, $72m in 2005. They are nearly _dead_ and looking for a sell-out. In many ways they deserve it, I still remember their CD drive being priced 10 times higher than the ones in the market if you wanted to replace one. And of course, being totally proprietary nothing else would fit in. Who is buying IRIX now? And SGI now focuses on Linux.

        I don't know who modded you interesting. And I did not know SGI still had fans!
    • This has many interesting implications in software development.
      As someone that designs algorithms this is something I look forward to with much excitement.
      I for one welcome our new kilo-core overlords.
    • Don't you mean Core Wars?
    • Im selling my stove and getting one of theese ASAP!

      Seriously, how much power will they consume?
    • The rate of the manufacturer switch to multicore CPUs has exceeded my expectations and really does say something about the seemingly endless advance of the CPU since its invention.

      There have been many "the end is near" predictions over the decades, and none have come true. However, when the manufacturers start turning out dual and now quad core commodity parts, you really have to assume that a reasonably solid wall has been hit for once.

      Though I have faith there are still depths in silicon to be plumbed

    • At least for consumer processors, imho they should probably be moving towards chips where each core has it's own specialization, for example .. one core does the general CPU stuff .. the other .. I dunno specializes in graphics or physics vector math or is a GPU. Another core could orient towards all sorts of video/media stuff.

      On my home computers, my cpu utilization is minimal. The biggest bottleneck is I/O.

      I'm waiting for a reasonable cost computer that can drive multiple wireless lcd touchscreen display
  • Multi-cores (Score:3, Interesting)

    by acslat3r (848858) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:24PM (#14697183)
    I am looking forward to multi-core systems. I have an athlon 64 dual core 3800 using windows for my main ebay computer and it can pretty much handle anything i throw at it. It will be interesting to see how the motherboards of the future look and how the memory is allocated since I would assume all of these cores sharing the same memory has to have more of a performance penalty. Adobe premiere recognizes the dual core during startup but I don't know of many programs that use both cores..i guess it just splits the load between them. I would assume multi-cored processors will sharply scale up in price due to the lower yield rate from effectively making two-four-eight processors at once on a single die.
    • by keyrat rafa (856668) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:28PM (#14697204) Homepage
      I have an athlon 64 dual core 3800 using windows for my main ebay computer and it can pretty much handle anything i throw at it.

      wtf is an ebay computer and why would it need a fast processor?
    • ... but I don't know of many programs that use both cores..i guess it just splits the load between them.

      Under Windows it will only use one of the cores for most operations (a small number of programs can use both). Linux SMP kernels will split up the tasks for the two processors as best as it can, supposedly Solaris and the BSDs will do it too but I've never seen those guys at work.
    • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:23PM (#14697512)
      This whole multi-core trend concerns me. Sun Niagra is now out, in the form of the Sunfire T1000 and T2000 computers. These are fine computers. But they really only excel for very specific workloads. Meanwhile, facts are facts. The chips are starved for data.

      It's almost comical how the Slash community seems to be so back and forth over which chip is "best". Cart meet horse. Get behind, thee!

      So. I am a bit of an AMD fanboi. I admit it. But it's not really about the chip. It's the IO fabric. Hypertransport (which does happen to be on chip) is why AMD is winning this race right now. It's affordable, and scales linearly with the number of chips. Around the corner on AMD's front is HORUS (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=18251 [theinquirer.net]), the memory fabric to rule them all. Intel should be really afraid here.

      I personally can't get all excited about these multi core chips. Now IO solutions. Those interest me.

      Computers are entirely IO bound these days. Hello?

      Do any Slashdot readers happen to be home in there!?

      *knockety knock*

      C//
    • Re:Multi-cores (Score:3, Informative)

      by quanticle (843097)
      /*I would assume all of these cores sharing the same memory has to have more of a performance penalty.*/

      Depends on your architecture, really. Intel chips might be hurt because of their sharing an external memory controller. AMD chips would experience little or no performance penalty, because they have the memory controller on-die, and the chance of two cores accessing the same memory address is small.

      /*Adobe premiere recognizes the dual core during startup but I don't know of many programs that
  • by Gaima (174551) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:25PM (#14697187)
    ... inside a chip is like having more than one engine under the hood of a car.

    Except it's quite useless with front wheel drive.
    • ... inside a chip is like having more than one engine under the hood of a car.

      Except it's quite useless with front wheel drive.

      Except when you're driving in the snow.

      What I really meant to say is WTF kind of analogy is that?
      FWD, like RWD has its pros/cons and each has its place.

      Do you even know why FWD was such a god-send back when it was first introduced? It was easier to manufacture & install in cars, it provided better handling characteristics for the vast majority of drivers (oversteer will fuck up

    • "(Having multiple cores)... inside a chip is like having more than one engine under the hood of a car."

      No, it's like having multiple cylinders inside an engine.
  • by deep44 (891922) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:26PM (#14697191)
    Not to be outdone by AMD..? Bad news: AMD made this very same announcement in June/2005, indicating quad-core CPUs would be available 'sometime in 2007'.
    • AMD made this very same announcement in June/2005, indicating quad-core CPUs would be available 'sometime in 2007'.

      But have they demonstrated working quad-core CPUs the way Intel did in TFA? I think an "announcement" is more impressive if they can demonstrate at least a working prototype. From TFA:

      To show the product is well on its way, Intel CTO Justin Rattner demonstrated a working server computer with a pair of the new microprocessors, code-named Clovertown.

      BTW, Cloverton [endian.net] is based on the Merom/Co

      • But have they demonstrated working quad-core CPUs the way Intel did in TFA? I think an "announcement" is more impressive if they can demonstrate at least a working prototype.

        I don't know - that sort of demonstration is completely useless, since there's no way to verify if the demo CPUs are ready for mass production, cool enough for prolonged use, or even whether or not they're faster than dual-core CPUs.

        I'm sure there are a few G5 Powerbook "prototypes" laying around at Apple HQ. Clearly, that doesn't t

  • by TSHTF (953742) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:33PM (#14697236) Homepage
    Currently Microsoft charges per CPU, not core http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/highlights/mult icore.mspx [microsoft.com]. As we begin to see 4-core and 8-core CPUs, how long will it be until Microsoft begins charging per core?
    • by cyberjessy (444290) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:21PM (#14697502) Homepage
      This is silly. Microsoft made a conscious decision to license software per CPU (or per Slot) rather than core, and they had announced that they are doing so because multi-core looked like the natural way in which CPUs will improve, given that the Mhz war has ended. In fact they were the first major company to do so.

      Also, this does not really eat into MS bottom line compared to Oracle or IBM. Most of MS revenue comes from the the desktop, while they are just competing in servers. Sql Server suddenly becomes more attractive, given Oracles complicated multi-core policy [sun.com]. (Remember that Oracle earlier announced that every core is a CPU, its just recently that they realized it will be a disaster and modified their original plans.)

      Earlier CPU speeds doubled every 18 months. Multi-core will simply take another approach to achieving the same. I am not sure how this will hurt software companies any more than increasing cycles/sec.
    • As we begin to see 4-core and 8-core CPUs, how long will it be until Microsoft begins charging per core?

      Ah, but why would they? They'll just bloat the OS so it eats up enough CPU to require a multi-multicore chip setup for serious server performance.
    • /*As we begin to see 4-core and 8-core CPUs, how long will it be until Microsoft begins charging per core?*/

      As I recall, earlier there was some confusion about Microsoft's license agreements regarding the core vs. CPU issue in terms of licensing.  Microsoft came out and explicitly stated that it was going to charge per CPU.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This time next year, we'll have 16 core CPU's from AMD to go along with our 16 blade razors from Gillette.
  • by dcapel (913969) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:35PM (#14697243) Homepage
    ...scientists report global warming is predicted to increase four-fold by 2008.
  • Le-Yawn..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Groo Wanderer (180806) <charlie AT semiaccurate DOT com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:37PM (#14697256) Homepage
    Wow, who would have guessed? Me.
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=29550 [theinquirer.net]

    Want to know what the problem is? Near the bottom here:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=25349 [theinquirer.net]
    (Yes, I know I spelled it wrong, it was a verbal tip....)

                -Charlie
  • by Burning1 (204959) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @09:46PM (#14697320) Homepage
    In other news:

    Not to be outdone by AMD, Gellete releases a 5 core Razor.
  • Someone call me when they offer a memory controller per core.

    Chip H.
  • Bandwidth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aardpig (622459) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:05PM (#14697439)
    I wonder whether the quad-core Intel chips will be as bandwidth-starved as the dual-core chips? Currently, the comparison between a dual-core Pentium and a dual-core Opteron is farcical, especially for memory-limited apps.
    • Re:Bandwidth (Score:3, Informative)

      by MojoStan (776183)

      I wonder whether the quad-core Intel chips will be as bandwidth-starved as the dual-core chips? Currently, the comparison between a dual-core Pentium and a dual-core Opteron is farcical, especially for memory-limited apps.

      The quad-core chip that Intel demoed in TFA, code name Cloverton [endian.net], is derived from the Merom/Conroe/Woodcrest architecture (which is derived from Yonah/Core Duo). It is not derived from the current bandwidth-starved Xeon core (Netburst/Pentium 4).

      I agree that the comparison between du

  • by CFD339 (795926) <andrewp@@@thenorth...com> on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:18PM (#14697487) Homepage Journal
    Processing power is rarely the problem. Graphics processing is already handed off, and unless you're trying to crack encryption, most software isn't bound by processor speed anyway.

    Software performance is bound by I/O limitations. It FEELS like processor power because threads on hold for I/O block a core up like cheescake to a lactose intollerant grandparent.

    Until I can index on disk at about 100 times the current speed, these processors won't help what I'm doing.
    • I dunno what you do for a living (or a hobby), but there are those of us for whom quad-core won't get here soon enough. Disk I/O is always going to be an issue, but there are a lot of applications that still need more CPU power.

      I keep a dual-CPU Opteron system pretty busy most days and I'll be upgrading to a dual-CPU dual-core system once prices drop a bit more.

      • ...other than that (which admittedly will dim the lights), I've never kept even a hyperthreading P4 pegged solid for more than a short time. I've written multithreaded audio processing software than can pick DTMF or Motorola QC-II tones out of a live audio stream with good reliability, and I've written anti-spam software that in test processes more than a million messages per hour. In neither case did I overwhelm the processors.

        Neither of these tasks is important for a desktop user. Large software compil
        • For example, Blackfin makes one.

          Presumably, you get some kind of software driver to talk to with your own software so you can feed it the time domain in real time and get back blocks of frequency domain data without burdening your processor.

          If you're doing serious scientific analysis on live analog data streams (SETI anyone?) this would really help you out a lot. I'd bet one of these could really jump your SETI@HOME scores up pretty quickly.

          http://www.eg3.com/WebID/dsp/fft/ [eg3.com]
  • Dual core is the best thing to come down the pike in years.. I have always opted for a dual processor system over a 'faster' single processor box because for the type of things I do, run a zillion things at one time, having multiple processors made everything run very smooth. The only issue I had with recent dual processor machines I have owned is the intense heat and power consumption...

    Dual core processors solved that problem.. I'm golden.
  • by Midnight Warrior (32619) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:22PM (#14697510) Homepage
    This multi-core race is already over. Sony wins by default with the PS3 coming in with 7 cores (#8 is a ghost to cover over manufacturing flaws and defect counts). And everyone is whining about how to code for 7 cores. Having four cores won't change this single-threaded world. When the libraries of the world are suddenly multi-threaded, the PS3 will be light years ahead. Plus, IBM is going to be putting their Cell processors on blades. IBM and AMD are two years too late to the game.
    • Sun has a processor with 8 cores. Also the Cell doesn't have 7 (or 8) 'cores', and IBM did most of the development of the Cell, with the help of Sony and Toshiba.

      The Cell is also not a general perpose processor, its rather focused on a few things (like image processing).
  • by amliebsch (724858) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:25PM (#14697529) Journal
    Fuck Everything, We're Doing Four Cores

    By Craig Barrett
    CEO and President,
    Intel
    February 10, 2006

    Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of computing in this country. The Pentium 3 was the CPU to own. Then the other guy came out with a 64-bit x86 CPU. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Itanium. That's 64 bit and a new instruction set. For performance. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I'm telling you what happened--the bastards went to two cores. Now we're standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling 64 bits and a new instruction set. Floating point performance or no, suddenly we're the chumps. Well, fuck it. We're going to four cores.

    Sure, we could go to two cores next, like the competition. That seems like the logical thing to do. After all, one worked out pretty well, and two is the next number after one. So let's play it safe. Let's make a faster bus and call it the Pentium4SuperExtreme. Why innovate when we can follow? Oh, I know why: Because we're a business, that's why!

    You think it's crazy? It is crazy. But I don't give a shit. From now on, we're the ones who have the edge in the multi-core game. Are they what's inside? Fuck, no. Intel is what's inside.

    What part of this don't you understand? If one core is good, and two cores is better, obviously four cores would make us the best fucking CPU that ever existed. Comprende? We didn't claw our way to the top of the processor game by clinging to the 64-bit industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, four cores is the biggest chance of all.

    Here's the report from Engineering. Someone put it in the bathroom: I want to wipe my ass with it. They don't tell me what to invent--I tell them. And I'm telling them to stick two more cores in there. I don't care how. Make the wafers so thin they're invisible. Put some on the bottom of the die. I don't care if they have to cram the fourth in perpendicular to the other three, just do it!

    You're taking the "point" part of "floating point" too literally, grandma. Cut the strings and soar. Let's hit it. Let's roll. This is our chance to make CPU history. Let's dream big. All you have to do is say that four cores can happen, and it will happen. If you aren't on board, then fuck you. And if you're on the board, then fuck you and your father. Hey, if I'm the only one who'll take risks, I'm sure as hell happy to hog all the glory when the four-core CPU becomes the computing tool for the U.S. of "this is how we compute now" A.

    People said we couldn't go to 64-bit. It'll cost a fortune to manufacture, they said. Well, we did it. Now some egghead in a lab is screaming "Four's crazy?" Well, perhaps he'd be more comfortable in the labs at AMD, working on fucking Turions. HyperTransport, my white ass!

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we should just ride in Motorola's wake and make embedded IC's. Ha! Not on your fucking life! The day I shadow a penny-ante outfit like Motorola is the day I leave the CPU game for good, and that won't happen until the day I die!

    The market? Listen, we make the market. All we have to do is put her out there with a little jingle. It's as easy as, "Hey, gaming with anything less than four blades is like playing at VGA resolution." Or "You'll be so l33t, I couldn't snipe you with an aimbot." Try "Your b0x is going to be so friggin' fast, someone's gonna walk up and put a goddamn spoiler on it."

    I know what you're thinking now: What'll people say? Mew mew mew. Oh, no, what will people say?! Grow the fuck up. When you're on top, people talk. That's the price you pay for being on top. Which Intel is, always has been, and forever shall be, Amen, four cores, sweet Jesus in heaven.

    Stop. I just had a stroke of genius. Are you ready? Open your mouth, baby birds, cause Mama's about to drop you one sweet, fat nightcrawler. Here she comes: Put another Level 2 cache on that fucker, too. That's right. Four cores, two caches, and make th

  • Dude one: I've bought a laptop with the new Intel FGHI 3xyz! Dude two: What does it have? Dude one: 3Gc (Gigacores) Dude two: Man! That is awesome! I'm gonna buy one of these. What power does it need? Dude one: A portable nuclear plant model NUKE32 or better.
  • Great excuse... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rfernand79 (643913)
    Great excuse to keep promoting fatware instead of cleverly designed software.
  • by kireK (254264) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:46PM (#14697606)
    Sun is currently shipping EIGHT core CPUS, and each core handles 4 threads... so you are talking 32 threads in one RU of space.

    http://www.sun.com/servers/coolthreads/overview/in dex.jsp [sun.com]
  • Not Surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by LionKimbro (200000) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @10:47PM (#14697608) Homepage
    Intel said they were going to be releasing x100-core processors by 2015.

    Just watch the Intel 2005 Keynote speech, [taoriver.net] (video) [intel.com] hear about x100 cores and x100 GBits/sec chip-chip data transfer.

    It's not like this is a big secret or anything.
  • by Malor (3658) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:02PM (#14697660) Journal
    As usual, if you want good CPU info, Ars Technica is the place to look. They have a blurb on Intel's 4-way core plans here [arstechnica.com].

    Basically, they point out that Intel's dual core processors are already starved on the FSB, and loading two more cores isn't going to do very much. He seems to expect that, until Intel gets their FSB in order(which won't happen until 2008), AMD is going to stomp all over them. He says that Intel's cores are excellent, but without CSI (their new FSB), it may not matter much.

    My own projection is that the extra contention may end up imposing a net speed _penalty_ for many workloads. That is, however, pure speculation from an amateur, based mostly on the dismal performance of the first dual-CPU G4 Macs.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:06PM (#14697683)
    Up to 8 cores, 3MB L2 Cache (total shared), 4 execution threads per core, so effectively 32 execution threads per CPU.

    A nicely loaded Sun T2000 system, with 8 cores, 32Gig RAM, Dual 2GB FCA and 8 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces comes in with a street price of approximately 30K. Add in Solaris 10 with it's container technology, the fact that it only uses 325Watts of power, and is light on BTUs - we're talking serious datacenter contender for web services, application servers, database servers, etc...

    I'm currently looking at consolidating approximately 20 aging systems using over 10KW of power and close to 20K BTUs/hr thermal output. I am planning on replacing these 20 systems with 4 T2000 servers totaling 1500KW and approximately 5K BTUs/hr thermal output. Not only will I be saving on maintenance for the hardware, but also on software licensing as common applications like Oracle and BEA are licensing their products at 1/4 cpu per core on these processors. I will also be saving on power and cooling requirements for the datacenter. Not to mention datacenter floor space - I will be able to empty 2 full racks with this consolidation project. I'm hoping to expand it and end up with 1 rack of T2000's replacing close to the entire datacenter's UNIX population.
  • The 8-core Alpha (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:18PM (#14697729) Homepage
    Just before the end of the Alpha line, DEC prototyped an 8-core Alpha. It's not clear that it was useful, but they did succeed in cramming eight CPUs on one die over five years ago.
  • 96 Cores (Score:4, Informative)

    by yerdaddie (313155) on Saturday February 11, 2006 @11:57PM (#14697927) Homepage
    As long as we're waving "number of cores" about as if it were the number of inches a piece of spam is promising:

    http://news.com.com/Designer+puts+96+cores+on+sing le+chip/2100-1006_3-5399128.html [com.com]

    In short, Clearspeed's CSX600 has 96 cores, but is designed to be an accelerator board.

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