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Intel to tell all about roaring 96GB/s QuickPath interconnect

Faster than Opteron sockets on steroids

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You horrible cynics out there looked at Intel's mushy Montvale chip and scoffed. "That's the end of the Itanic."

Ah, but there's a fresh monster on the horizon known as Tukwila, and systems based on that puppy should fly if its brand new QuickPath interconnect arrives as expected. Next week Intel will disclose details on QuickPath at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. [It's like the Folsom Street Fair - Google at your own risk - but with more brain and less testicle torture - Ed.]

What will Intel say?

Well, according to the conference program, showgoers will hear about:

An Itanium processor is implemented in 8M 65nm CMOS and measures 21.5×32.5mm2. The processor has four dual-threaded cores, a system interface and 30MB of cache. Quickpath high-speed links enable peak processor-to-processor bandwidth of 96GB/s and peak memory bandwidth of 34GB/s.

We'll wait to hear a bit more from Intel before squaring QuickPath - formerly known as CSI - against Hypertransport 3.0, which can aggregate 41.6GB/s in two directions.

CSI should ship with the four-core Tukwila chip in 2008.

QuickPath whiz and analyst David Kanter is more willing to tackle the Hypertransport debate based on information he uncovered last year.

He tells us, "It looks like Tukwila's QPI links are running at 4.8GHz, which is about the same speed as Hypertransport 3 (maximum speed of 5.2GHz). Realistically, Intel will pack quite a bit more bandwidth on - because they are using 4+1 QPI links (4 to talk to other processors and 2 half links for I/O), compared to the 4 HT3 links that AMD will be using in future MPUs (that's right, no HT3 in the MP version of Barcelona). What's most impressive about Tukwila is the memory bandwidth - it has the same bandwidth as a full 4 socket Opteron system, all in one socket.

"Will Intel finally catch up with arch-rival IBM's POWER6? This is probably one of Intel's better chances since IBM took the lead with the Power5. It looks like a single Tukwila will probably have about the same performance on major benchmarks as a single Power6."

Dude? 30MB of cache? Maybe this is like the Folsom Street Fair after all

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