Intel will flush Xeon line with six-core Dunny
Rarely the rebel, Intel looks to shake up the processor game with a six-core chip.
Some Intel slideware leaked onto the interweb shows the "Dunnington" version of Xeon arriving in the second half of this year with 6 cores. To date, the major chip makers have done two- and four-core processors, while Sun has an eight-core chip as well. Intel's upcoming chip is an apparent response to heavy lobbying from the Hex community.
Intel has been talking about Dunnington since 2005. It's been pitched as a Xeon made for larger servers. In addition, Dunnington stands as Australia's favorite Intel processor, owing to its roots in sewage disposal.
According to the slideware, Dunnington will be a 45nm (Penryn) chip that allows each core to share 3M B of L2 cache. There's also a shared 16MB Level3 cache.
The chip will ship as part of the Caneland platform and be pin compatible with Intel's Tigerton processors. In addition, it will work with the Clarksboro chipset.
There are two other items of note with Dunnington. For one, it appears to be Intel's most serious native multi-core processor to date. In addition, it will still rely on a front side bus(1066MHz). Blech.
It would seem that someone at Sun leaked this presentation by accident. That's what you get for picking up Sun as a customer, Intel. But you can still view the slides here. ®
Actualyl, yes there are tonnes of ways that Intel can improve their line. They really should just abandon the x86 architecture and expose the RISC cores of their chips. The horrible variable instruction length and execution time required by the Intel chips makes them extremely relient on internal register reordering, out-of-order-execution and what-not.
Removing those complex pieces of nasty would result in a much better execution profile, especially when it comes to branch prediction misses. Not to mention making it easier for compilers to optimize for the seperate execution pips.
@ Ken Hagan
Er, if you know of a way to increase performance that doesn't come under the three broad headings you've just mentioned, do tell....
How about hanging a large FPGA off the side of the processor and handing off tasks to it that can be more efficiently done in hardware.
Why on earth would anyone buy a four-core Tukwila when they can get a six-core Penryn?
If Dunny will fit in HP's double-height BL680c blade, that would be 192 cores per C-Class chassis. If HP can increase the memory in the BL680c to 256GB, they will have eight 24 core, 256GB servers in 10RU.
Tell me again why I need a Superdome?