Speculation around the chip suggests that it will be Intel’s Nehalem EP processor, a chip designed for dual-socket workstations and servers. The EP, which is scheduled for a release in early 2009, will use Intel’s Quick Path Interconnect, removing all need for a front-side bus and letting more data flow between the processor and the system. It will also feature an integrated memory controller.
Intel has come out about the rumor, stating that although they are presenting 16 papers at the Solid-State Circuits Conference, there is nothing more to share regarding a new Xeon processor. Should the chip be revealed, it will be Intel’s first eight-core processor.
Intel, who last year showed it was really serious about netbooks when it purchased the netbook.com domain (probably much to the chagrin of Psion), just got a little bit more serious. The chip maker is working on its own netbook OS called "Moblin," which reached its first alpha release earlier this week.
Based on Linux, Moblin's alpha code is available for free to test the core Linux OS, boot processo, a new "Fastboot" feature, connectivity and networking, and more. To run it, you'll need an Intel Atom or Core 2 CPU with SSE3 instructions, integrated Intel graphics (915/945/965 - GMA-500 not supported), and one of a specific set of wired/wireless network adapters. So far, Intel said it has tested Moblin on a handful of popular netbooks, including the Acer Aspire One, Dell Mini 9, and the ever popular Asus Eee 901.
Intel did say to expect a heavy does of cosmetic changes to the UI between now and the final release, so what you see is not necessarily what you'll get. The company also warned "3D performance is known to be slow."
Learn more details and grab your download here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think about Intel making its own netbook OS.
One day we'll look back at dual-core CPUs and wonder how it was we were ever able to get anything done with such primitive processors. Some users would contend we're already there, proclaiming it's quad-core or bust, but not everyone sees the value in more cores over faster clockspeeds. For those of you who fall into that category, start saving your pennies for Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo E8700 CPU.
At 3.5GHz, the E8700 will be Intel's highest clocked Core 2 Duo, with the 3.33GHz E8600 nipping at its heels. Like the E8600, the 45nm E8700 will run on a 1333MHz frontside bus and come with 6MB of L2 cache. The new chip is expected to carry a TDP of 65W.
No word yet on a release date or expected price point, though don't be surprised to find another round of Core 2 Duo price cuts when the E8700 makes its debut.
With the announcement of Craig Barrett's retirement in May, one of Intel's last links with the pre-PC era will vanish. Barrett's career at Intel started in 1974, when Intel was just seven years old and was introducing the first general-purpose microprocessor, the 8080. The 8080's descendents included the first 16-bit processor, the 8086, and the IBM PC's processor, the 8088. The IBM PC and its many descendants enabled Intel's rise to processor dominance.
Barrett became Intel's CEO in 1998, taking over for the legendary Andy Grove. Barrett's tenure as CEO saw the development of Intel's first Celeron economy CPU and high-end Pentium III processors, the introduction of the Pentium 4, diversification into communications chips, development of new Xeon and Itanium server processors, and the introduction of the Centrino portable chipset/processor technology.
During this period, Intel received formidable challenges from AMD's Athlon and Athlon XP, and frequently saw its processors beaten by AMD's processors in real-world performance tests. Barrett became chairman of Intel in 2005, and during his tenure as chairman, saw Intel retake the performance crown from AMD with the introduction of the Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core i7 processor lines.
Barrett, 70, is retiring at a time in which Intel, like other technology companies, is facing tough times, and announced last week that it's closing two fab plants in the US as well as three assembly test facilities in Malaysia and the Philippines, affecting over 5,000 employees.
What was the first Intel product you used? Was it a processor, motherboard, chipset, network adapter, or something else? Looking back at Barrett's long career, what do you think were Intel's biggest hits - and misses? Join us after the jump for your chance to tell all.
CodaOctopus Colmek describes its new Stinger 553 rig as "a rugged tactical small form factor PC," but calling it a bomb shelter for your PC hardware would have been just as appropriate. Protected by an aluminum alloy chassis that's both corrosion and splash resistant, CodaOctopus Colmek says it built the Stinger 553 to MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461E environmental standards and MIL-STD0404E power supply voltage standards. That means it can withstand freezing rain, high humidity, gunfire vibration, sand, dust, fungus, and a host of other unpleasantries.
On the inside sits an intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and Windows XPe, WinCE, Linux, or VxWorks. Rounding out the spec sheet are 8x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA ports, 7x RS-232 serial ports, and more..
Every time Intel sets foot in the SSD market, something good seems to happen. The company's first foray resulted in one of the fastest SSDs yet available with its X-25M boasting read and write speeds of up to 250MB/s and 70MB/s respectively, and now the chip maker wants to boost capacities.
The amount of storage space most SSDs offer has typically been a weak point with the technology to this point, but according Bloomberg, Intel sent a document to its customers telling them to expect a 320GB SSD in the fourth quarter. The comparatively high capacity SSD will be one of eight new drives Intel plans to release, all of which will be built with 32nm chips.
No word yet on pricing or a specific release date, but if released today, the 320GB SSD would be the consumer market's largest capacity to date. However, Toshiba is also working on a high capacity SSD that will offer 512GB of storage and expects to ship the drive in Q2.
It doesn't matter how good Intel's Core i7 platform is (and it's pretty damn good), several thousand of the chip maker's employees could soon be looking for employment elsewhere. As part of a plan to restructure its manufacturing operations and realign its manufacturing capacity to current market conditions, Intel said it will consolidate several "older" facilities.
"The actions at the four sites, when combined with associated support functions, are expected to affect between 5,000 and 6,000 employees worldwide," Intel said in a statement. "Not all employees will leave Intel; some may be offered positions at other facilities. The actions will take place between now and the end of 2009."
The restructuring effort includes closing two assembly test facilities in Penang, Malaysia and one in Cavite, Philippines, and halting production at Fab 20 in Hillsboro, Oregon. Intel will also stop producing wafers at its D2 facility in Santa Clara, California. Despite the restructuring and layoffs, Intel says the deployment of 45nm and 32nm manufacturing capacity will not be impacted.
Intel has admittedly been mighty progressive when it comes to their energy conservation efforts. In the past few years, they’ve devoted a few million dollars from their annual budget to research the energy efficiency, and they’ve been making some pretty significant strides. Their latest look into renewable energy comes from the top of their datacenters in New Mexico, where they’ve put 10-kilowatt photovoltaic installations in an experiment aimed at finding out more about the possibilities of solar power.
This isn’t their first dive into the energy conservation pool, either. Just last year the California based chip-maker opened an installation in Oregon that produced 100 kilowatts of power. And Intel wasn’t even using this juice; instead they integrated it with Portland’s General Electric grid.
While there are some clear issues as to why solar might not work well with running servers (that have to be on 24 hours a day), it is commendable that Intel is looking to take a big step forward in this arena.
We'd accuse Intel of trying to smoodge its way to the top, except that the No. 1 chip maker is already there and doesn't appear poised to relinquish its position. But Intel CTO Justin R. Rattner has reached out to the incoming Obama administration's newly created CTO with an open letter asking that technology in education, environment, heatlhcare, and internet broadband be prioritized.
If you attended CES this year, you may have been among the thousands who participated in a related survey, in which Intel asked respondents what they felt should be the top priorities for the first ever U.S. CTO. The survey results played a role Rattner's letter, in which he asks the new CTO to double NSF and DOE research budgets, enact a multi-year extension of the R&D tax credit, establish a national policy around green technology, give incentives for ISPs to deploy affordable broadband nationwide, create a new healthcare network system that would connect doctors, hospitals, labs, and patients by 2012, and more.
Read the full letter here (PDF), along with Rattner's blog entry on the subject here. Original survey can be found here (PDF).
Citing un-named notebook makers, DigiTimes says Intel will launch its next generation Atom processor, currently codenamed Pineview, in the second half of 2009. The new chip will come in both single- and dual-core flavors, although the dual-core variant will only be used in nettops, DigiTimes says.
The new chip will be built using a 45nm manufacturing process with built-in Northbridge functions, such as an integrated memory controller and graphics. Intel is expected to pair the new chip with its upcoming Tiger Point Southbridge to create a new, lower cost netbook platform currently codenamed Pine Trail-M.
But not only will future netbooks cost less as a result of Pineview, but they might be smaller too. By integrating the Northbridge with the CPU, Pineview requires significantly less motherboard space by up to 60 percent, bringing the total down from 2,174mm squared (Atom N270 + 945GC) to 773mm squared. The new platform will also cut back the amount of PCB layers from six to four, while also reducing maximum TDP from 8W to 7W.
In other words, look for tomorrow's netbooks to be smaller, faster, consume less power, and easier on the wallet.