updated 08:20 am EDT, Fri May 7, 2010
Intel Westmere-EX to replace Nehalem in large PCs
Intel is planning a server-oriented version of its 32 nanometer Xeons that would be the company's first chip of any kind with more than eight cores, Intel said in a webcast late Thursday. Currently codenamed Westmere-EX, it would supplant the eight-core, 45nm Xeon 7500 and is likely to pack 12 cores without increasing the power consumption over the current chip. It should still work in existing processor sockets and would be a drop-in replacement for those who want to upgrade servers rather than replace them outright.
No details were given to PCWorld or other attendees regarding the clock speeds or the release timeframe, but most Xeon refreshes occur early into a given year. Intel launched the Xeon 7500 at the end of March.
While it has the potential to be one of the fastest high-end x86 processors when it's released, Intel will have trailed behind AMD in terms of sheer cores offered. The Opteron 6000 already manages 12 cores even while being made on a less efficient 45nm process.