Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Intel Hardware

Intel Next-Gen CPU Has Memory Controller and GPU 307

Many readers wrote in with news of Intel's revelations yesterday about its upcoming Penryn and Nehalem cores. Information has been trickling out about Penryn, but the big news concerns Nehalem — the "tock" to Penryn's "tick." Nehalem will be a scalable architecture with some products having on-board memory controller, "on-package" GPU, and up to 16 threads per chip. From Ars Technica's coverage: "...Intel's Pat Gelsinger also made a number of high-level disclosures about the successor to Penryn, the 45nm Nehalem core. Unlike Penryn, which is a shrink/derivative of Core 2 Duo (Merom), Nehalem is architected from the ground up for 45nm. This is a major new design, and Gelsinger revealed some truly tantalizing details about it. Nehalem has its roots in the four-issue Core 2 Duo architecture, but the direction that it will take Intel is apparent in Gelsinger's insistence that, 'we view Nehalem as the first true dynamically scalable microarchitecture.' What Gelsinger means by this is that Nehalem is not only designed to take Intel up to eight cores on a single die, but those cores are meant to be mixed and matched with varied amounts of cache and different features in order to produce processors that are tailored to specific market segments." More details, including Intel's slideware, appear at PC Perspectives and HotHardware.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel Next-Gen CPU Has Memory Controller and GPU

Comments Filter:
  • Is AMD beaten? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:17AM (#18527167)
    It seems that AMD has lost, and I'm not trying to troll. It just seems that fortunes have truly reversed and that AMD is being beaten by 5 steps everywhere by AMD. Anybody have an opposing viewpoint? (Being an AMD fan, I am depressed.)
  • So, basically... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GotenXiao ( 863190 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:27AM (#18527273)
    ...they're taking AMD's on-die memory controller, AMD/ATi's on-die GPU and Sun's multi-thread handling and putting them on one chip?

    Have Intel come up with anything genuinely new recently?
  • Re:Is AMD beaten? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:33AM (#18527327) Homepage Journal
    Simple Nothing has shipped yet.
    So we will see. Intel's GPUs are fine for home use but not in the same category as ATI or NVidia. The company that might really loose big in all this is NVidia. If Intel and AMD start integrating good GPU cores on the same die as the CPU where will that leave NVidia?
    It could be left in the dust.
  • Re:Is AMD beaten? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:36AM (#18527355)

    It seems that AMD has lost, and I'm not trying to troll. It just seems that fortunes have truly reversed and that AMD is being beaten by 5 steps everywhere by AMD. Anybody have an opposing viewpoint? (Being an AMD fan, I am depressed.)
    Oh, good lord. Intel announces the "new" technology for something that's not due for years (most likely 2) which happens, just happens, to be tech you can already buy from AMD today (or with their next CPU release in the next few months) and you're running around "the sky is falling, the sky is falling".

    This reminds me of MS during the OS/2 days, when they first announced Cairo with its DB file system and OO interface (sound familiar? It should - features of Longhorn, then moved to Blackcomb, and now off the map as a major release). Unlike MS, I don't doubt Intel will finally release most of what they've announced, but to think that they're "ahead" is ludicrous. At this moment, their new architecture will barely beat AMD's 3+ year old architecture (See Anandtech or Tom's, I forget which, but there was a head to head comparison of AMD's 4X4 platform with Intel's latest and greatest quad CPU, and AMD's platform kept pace. That should scare the bejeebers out of Intel, and apparently it has, because they're now following the architectural trail blazed by AMD, or announced previously, like multi-core chips with specialty cores.

    In other words, not much to see here, wake me when the chips come out. Until Barcelona ships, Intel holds the 1-2 CPU crown. When it ships, we'll finally be able to compare CPUs. AMD still holds the 4-way and up market, hence its stranglehold in the enterprise. Intel's announcement of an onboard memory controller in Nehalem indicates that they're finally maybe going to try to tackle the multi-CPU market again, depending upon how well architected that solution is.
  • by Zebra_X ( 13249 ) * on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:38AM (#18527377)
    Intel has a lot of cash, and the ability to invest in expensive processes earlier than most. Certainly, earlier than AMD.

    However, it's worth noting, that these are clearly AMD ideas.
    * On die memory controller - AMD's idea - and it's been in use for quite a while now
    * Embedded GPU - a rip off of the AMD fusion idea, announced shortly after the aquisition of AMD.

    Intel is no longer leading as they have in yeas past - they are copying and looting their competition shamelessly. It appears that they are "leading" when point in fact it's simply not the case - had AMD not realeased the Athlon64 we would all still be using single processor NetBurst processors.
  • Re:Is AMD beaten? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eddy ( 18759 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:46AM (#18527473) Homepage Journal
    Just you wait for the Ray Tracing Wars of 2011. Then the shit will really hit the fan for the graphics board companies.
  • by sjwaste ( 780063 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:50AM (#18527527)
    In the meantime, you can get an AMD X2 3600 (65nm Brisbane core) for around $85 now, and probably in the $60 range well before these new products hit. The high end is one thing, but who actually buys it? Very few. I don't know anyone that bought the latest FX when it came out, or an Opteron 185 when they hit, or even a Core2Duo Extreme. All this does is push the mid- to low-end products down, and a ~$65 dual core that overclocks like crazy (some are getting 3 GHz on stock volts on the 3600) would seem like the best price/performance to me.

    AMD's not out because they don't control the high end. Remember, you can get the X2 3600 w/ a Biostar TForce 550 motherboard at Newegg for the same price as an E4300 CPU (no mobo), and that's the board folks are using to get it up to crazy clock speeds.
  • Re:Here it goes- (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:51AM (#18527551)
    In this case that's actually a relevant question. Will the full GPU specs and/or open source drivers be available?
  • Re:Here it goes- (Score:2, Interesting)

    by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:56AM (#18527617) Journal

    Yeah, but does it run linux?
    Imagine an on-board beowulf cluster ...
  • Bursts of CPU (Score:3, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:17AM (#18527853)
    I can see those being quite hot for servers, where running "many small" tasks is where the game is.

    On a desktop PC you often need the focused application (say, some sort of graphical/audio editor, game, or just a very fancy flash web site even) to get most of the power of the CPU to render well.

    If you split the speed potential in 16, would desktop users see actual speed benefit? They'll see increased responsiveness from the smoother multitasking of the more and more background tasks running on our everyday OS-es, but can a mostly single-task focused desktop usage really benefit?

    How of course, we're witnessing ways to split concerns of a single task application into multiple threads: the new interface of Windows runs in a separate CPU thread and on the GPU, never mind if the app itself is single threaded or not. That's helping.

    Still, serial programming is, and is going to be, prevalent for many many years to come, as most tasks a casual / consumer applications performs are inherently serial and not "paralelizable" or whatever that would be called.

    My point being, I hope we'll still be getting *faster* threads, not just *more* threads. The situation now is that i's harder harder to communicate "hey we have only 1000 threads/cores unlike the competition which has 1 million, but we're faster!". It's just like AMD's tough position in the past, explaining their chips are faster despite having slower clock-rate.
  • by MrFlibbs ( 945469 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:26AM (#18527965)
    Not quite. Intel projects are usually named after local geographical features, not all of them rivers. For example, Banias, Dothan, Yonah, and Merom (Centrino/core2 duo project names) are not rivers in Israel. Also, the first PIII project was done in Folsom and named "Katmai" -- again, there is no Katmai river in Northern California.

    It's quite common in the industry to give projects names that don't mean anything, and each company uses a different scheme for generating the monikers. One interesting story is what happened when Apple used an internal project name of "Sagan". Carl Sagan took exception to this use of his name and threatened a lawsuit. Apple responded by changing the project name to "BHA", a TLA for "Butt-Head Astronomer". Sagan filed a lawsuit over this but it was thrown out of court when the judge ruled the new name was a generic one since Sagan was probably not the world's only butthead astronomer. (As least that's what I recall of it. Perhaps someone who worked at Apple during this time can add more detail?)
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:29AM (#18528007) Homepage Journal
    OK, these new parallel chips aren't even out yet, and software has to get the hardware before SW can improve to exploit the HW. But the HW has all the momentum, as usual. SW for parallel computing is as rudimentary as a 16bit microprocessor.

    What we need is new models of computing that programmers can use, not just new tools. Languages that specify purely sequential operations on specific virtual hardware (like scalar variables that merely represent specific allocated memory hardware), or metaphors for info management that computing killed in the last century ("file cabinets", trashcans of unique items and universal "documents" are going extinct) are like speaking Latin about quantum physics.

    There's already a way forward. Compiler geeks should be incorporating features of VHDL and VeriLog, inherently parallel languages, into gcc. And better "languages", like flowchart diagrams and other modes of expressing info flow, that aren't constrained by the procedural roots of those HW synthesis old guard, should spring up on these new chips like mushrooms on dewy morning lawns.

    The hardware is always ahead of the software - as instructions for hardware to do what it does, software cannot do more. But now the HW is growing capacity literally geometrically, even arguably exponentially, in power and complexity beyond our ability to even articulate what it should do within what it can. Let's see some better ways to talk the walk.
  • Re:Is AMD beaten? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vulva R. Thompson, P ( 1060828 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:38AM (#18528139)
    That will give AMD the opportunity to blow ahead as it did time and time again in the past.

    That's assuming they'll have the cash and/or debt availability to do so; a large chunk went into the ATI acquisition. Their balance sheet reads worse now than any time in the past (imho) and the safety net of a private equity buyout is weak at best. Now that ATI is in the mix, it seems that competition in two segments is now at risk.

    Point being that the underdog in a two horse race is always skating on thin ice. Let's hope that he doesn't hit a spot that's too thin this time.
  • Re:Is AMD beaten? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:55AM (#18528369)
    I think you missed the point. The AMD 4X4 solution kept pace with Intel's best under the types of loads where multiple cores are actually loaded. From your link:

    When only running one or two CPU intensive threads, Quad FX ends up being slower than an identically clocked dual core system, and when running more threads it's no faster than Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX6700. But it's more expensive than the alternatives and consumes as much power as both, combined.
    My point was that 3 year old tech could keep pace with Intel's newest. The 4X4 system is effectively nothing more than a 2-way Opteron system. With an identical number of cores, AMD keeps pace with Intel's top of the line quad. That would concern me if I were Intel, especially with AMD coming out with a quad on a smaller die than those running in the 4X4 system within the next couple of months. You can expect at least equivalent performance to the 4X4 with the new quad (they just co-located the two CPUs together) and because of the new additional shared L3 cache with individual L2 caches per core (Intel has two L2 caches in its quad, each L2 is shared between 2 cores) things should be much better for the Barcelona chip. Now imagine if you plug 2 Barcelona's into that 4X4 system....

    In any case, I'm waiting on Barcelona to come out and see what the effects of that release is on the market in general, including expected price cuts on the QX. Price vs performance is what it's all about, after all.
  • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @11:25AM (#18528841)
    Look at some of the memory tests done on the Mac Pro. The memory bus issue most definitely rears its ugly head there, and is the reason that the new 2-way systems only run with the slower FBDIMMs. The integrated memory controller is needed for any serious server work, which is why Intel is getting trounced in the server market.

    Integrated GPU... SGI? I can't think of another high-end modularly integrated GPU, and I'm not even 100% sure about the SGI one.
  • a lot of amd fanboys (Score:2, Interesting)

    by majortom1981 ( 949402 ) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @02:48PM (#18532101)
    A lot of amd fanboys here. PErformance wise intels latest chips are winning versus amds chips. Without an integrated memory controller.

    Now intel will have that also. This means that amds only advantage they will lose. AMD needs something huge to stay in the game.

    Also baiscally this news sounds like Intels Version of the Cell processor.(they stated configurable cores that each core can be set to do something else.)

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.