Sunday, October 14, 2007

Intel prepares 1600FSB Extreme quad-core CPU

November 12 will see Intel release its first 45nm-built desktop processor, the $999-tagged QX9650, an Extreme-branded quad-core CPU clocked at 3.0 GHz and running with a 1333 MHz bus. Just two months after this CPU releases Intel will have a new high-end chipset, the X48, and since this one will 'officially' support' the 1600 MHz FSB, Intel will release a new Extreme processor to go with it.

The QX9770 will be clocked at 3.2 Ghz, will have that 1600 FSB, 12 MB of L2 cache and will come with a price tag of $1399. The QX9770's release date is Q1 2008.

1600FSB QX9775 Yorkfield XE Pricing

Even though there are not a lot of single-core chips in Intel’s microprocessor lineup now, quad-core processors are not going to become really affordable soon enough. After Intel introduces its new 45nm central processing units in January, 2008, the company will not cut pricing of its Intel Core 2 Quad below $266.

The new code-named Yorkfield processors, which will be sold under Intel Core 2 Quad trademark with Q9550, Q9450 and Q9300 model numbers, will be priced at $530, $316 and $266 in 1000-unit quantities, respectively. Intel will also not cease to offer its 65nm quad-core microprocessors Q6700 and Q6600 for $530 and $266, respectively. The newer chips are projected to deliver considerably higher performance compared to predecessors thanks to improved micro-architecture, higher-speed processor system busses and cache sizes.

The fact that Intel has no plans to reduce pricing of its quad-core chips signals that the company feels itself comfortabe selling products with four processing engines at price-points starting at $266 and expects no substantial competition from Advanced Micro Devices, who is struggling to deliver quad-core enthusiast-class chips in late 2007 and quad-core and tri-core desktop processors in Q1 2008.

Intel officials did not comment on the news-story.

The new Q9000-series/45nm microprocessors are projected to have greater instructions per clock (IPC) execution compared to today’s chips, which means that they will be faster and more efficient even at the same clock-speeds with the current generation chips.

The major micro-architectural improvements for new Intel Core 2 processors, besides SSE4 instruction set, include the so-called Unique Super Shuffle Engine and Radix 16 technique. The Super Shuffle Engine is a full-width, single-pass shuffle unit that is 128-bits wide, which can perform full-width shuffles in a single cycle. This significantly improves performance for SSE2, SSE3 and SSE4 instructions that have shuffle-like operations such as pack, unpack and wider packed shifts. This feature will increase performance for content creation, imaging, video and high-performance computing. Radix 16 technique, according to Intel, roughly doubles the divider speed over previous generations for computations used in nearly all applications. In addition, Intel also improved virtualization technology as well as added some features to dynamic acceleration technology, which is supposed to boost single-threaded applications’ performance on multi-core chips.

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