Intel on Tuesday announced the availability of the“Westemere-EX” family of 32nm server chips. The launch means that the title of Intel's fastest server chip, which hitherto belonged to the native 8-core Nehalem-EX processor, now firmly rests with the 10-core Westemere-EX. The new chips, eighteen in all, are no longer known by the Westemere-EX codename, but by the Xeon E7 product line that they now form. More details after the jump.
Forget that six-core Gulftown Core i7. There’s a new Intel Xeon chip on the way with a whopping eight cores of processing goodness. Surely you can utilize eight cores in your home system, right? Well, maybe not, but the Nehalem-EX chip is likely to spice things up in the server sector when it launches later this month.
The Nehalem-EX will be a Xeon part built on Intel’s 45nm process technology. The chip will have hyperthreading, meaning up to 16 threads per processor. Clock speed is currently unknown. Being a server part, scalability is important and the Nehalem-EX won’t disappoint here. Thanks to the 4QPI links per chip, the new part will be scalable to eight sockets. So that’s 64 physical cores, or 128 threads. We’re pretty sure the benefits for Crysis 2 drop off around 48 cores or so.
Intel is promising big performance gains over the previous generation of Xeons, with nine times the memory bandwidth of the old chips. The part seems aimed at holding back AMD’s Magny-Cours six-core server parts due out soon. One way or another, servers are about to get a lot faster.
Intel has announced a new version of its Nehalem-EX series CPUs for use in supercomputers. The chips are part of the Xeon family and are optimized for use in supercomputers. The new six-core chips will run at higher clock speed than the current eight-core versions. A single computer will be capable of running 256 of the new CPUs. The new Nehalem-EX chips should be available next year.
Intel also made it known that they were partnering with NEC to develop new supercomputing technologies. In a joint statement, the two tech giants said they would, “push the boundaries of supercomputing performance.” Initially, the two companies will focus on boosting memory speed and scalability.
NEC plans to use advances gleaned from their work with Intel in future supercomputers that utilize Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), an extension of the x86 architecture. A vector processor design is capable of processing multiple operations simultaneously. Current Xeon chips have strong scalar processing, meaning they run operations one at a time. AVX will also be used in Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture expected in 2011.
Intel this week said its Nehalem-EX processor, an 8-core beast of a chip, will go into production sometime later this year and start shipping in server systems by early 2010. Even better, each chip supports 16 threads, says Boy Davis, Intel's GM of the Server Platforms Marketing Group.
Already on-board is IBM, who is already developing a server based around Nehalem-EX. The server will hold eight processors, making use of 64 Nehalem-EX cores capable of handling 128 threads.
"We're very excited today to be the first to demonstrate Nehalem-EX," said Alex Yost, VP IBM BladeCenter.
In addition to more cores and threads, Nehalem-EX also ups the memory ante, doubling the capacity with up to 16 memory slots per processor socket.