ActiveSAN officially announced, due in the spring
Active Storage has made its leaked XServe replacement officially known on Monday, calling the metadata controller appliance ActiveSAN. Apple's Xserve are discontinued as of today as well, and the ActiveSAN is being endorsed by Apple. Active Storage CEO Alex Grossman said the product is easy to use and offers more than just generic server functionality for Xsan and StorNext installations.
Intel says new 32nm architecture coming early
Intel chief Paul Otellini revealed during the company's fiscal results call that its new Sandy Bridge architecture would arrive early. Owing to the "very strong reception" of the 32 nanometer processor design, Intel will speed up the production scaling at its factories to meet demand. The CEO expected chips to arrive late this year, though whether the initial release had been moved up wasn't said during the call.
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.
Intel Nehalem-EX due for servers
Intel in an update late Thursday said its next-generation Xeon processors should still launch later this month. The eight-core Nehalem-EX processors don't have official clock speeds but will include 24MB of cache shared between each of the individual cores and will support Hyperthreading. A server with four Xeons could as a result support as many as 64 separate program threads at once, Xeon platform lead Shannon Poulin said.
Intel plans faster quad-core i7s soon
Three speed upgrades for Intel's Core i7 chips have been leaked within the past several hours that show the company planning a slew of speed upgrades in coming weeks for both desktops and mobiles. A store listing for the Core i7-980X appears to provide additional details beyond past leaks and suggests Intel's first mainstream six-core processor will be even faster than expected. While it's already known to run at 3.33GHz with all six cores and carry 12MB of cache, the chip is now set to use Turbo Boost to ramp up to 3.6GHz and in Germany should cost the equivalent of $1,427 at retail, though this may drop in the US.
Temporary workaround requires extra hardware
Apple has recognized and is now probing a critical problem affecting the Mac Pro, sources claim. Some Nehalem-based systems have experienced massive increases in CPU power consumption while playing audio, which are worsened by leaps in heat levels, and performance drops as high as 20 percent. In spite of these changes, the CPU usage does not register in Activity Monitor, and fans fail to kick in at proper levels.
Intel promises two-fold boost for Sandy Bridge
Intel has reportedly told its corporate customers that the Sandy Bridge CPUs with integrated graphics processors due for release at the end of the year will have vastly improved performance. While the chipmaker quotes a doubling of performance, it does not define what it compares it to, though it is most likely the existing Nehalem CPUs. Intel is otherwise being cryptic about the chips' performance, saying only that the chips have advanced media and graphics capabilities.
Bug apparently affecting Nehalem-based systems
A larger number of Mac Pro owners have reported problems with excessive CPU heat while simply playing audio, according to several threads on Apple's Support forums and Macrumors forums. Although playing MP3s through iTunes only utilizes a small fraction of the available CPU resources, users are claiming that the core temperatures soon approach the operating limits.
Intel showing 32nm chips early
Intel has signaled its plans to detail the first processors based on its 32 nanometer Westmere technology on Thursday. The semiconductor firm is expected to center its attention on the first dual-core notebook chips based on both the 32nm process and Nehalem and should introduce the mobile Core i5 and i3 as part of the introduction. These will be the first to carry graphics on the processor die and, on i5 models, will support Turbo Boost to automatically overclock one core when the other is shut down.
Configurations available with up to 256 sockets
SGI has introduced the Altix UV, a new series of supercomputers geared for large databases or analysis operations. The computers are based on Intel's Nehalem platform, with support for configurations utilizing quad-, six, or eight-core Xeon CPUs. Devices can be scaled to integrate up to 2,048 cores, with architectural provisioning for up to 262,144 cores.
Intel Nehalem EX coming for HPC systems
Intel today promised a version of its Xeon processor specifically tailored to high performance computing (HPC). The design will share the same architecture as the eight-core Nehalem-EX but drop to six cores in return for greater overall performance. Clock speeds should be higher and will still take advantage of the extra bandwidth of the new platform, making it a better pick for clusters and multi-processor servers.
Tilera TILE-Gx100 may beat Intel
Tilera on Monday unveiled a new processor it hopes will unseat Intel from its overall lead in performance. The TILE-Gx100 counts on a massively parallel, 100-core architecture to handle many tasks at once and reportedly overcomes some of the problems of scaling inherent to many-core designs. Instead of using a data bus, the grid is treated as a mesh network with switches on each core to route data smoothly. The approach lets Tilera reach the core count without it stalling or without the added space dictated by the bus architecture.
May slow adoption of important tech
Intel has postponed its support of USB 3.0 until 2011, a new report claims. The information is said to come from a senior technology manager at a "top tier PC maker," who says that Intel chipset teams are more focused on supporting the current Nehalem platform, as well as transitioning to 5GHz PCIe 2.0. "They need to prioritize their time and resources on a whole host of things and have to consider the compelling needs for USB 3.0 now versus 18 months later," says the manager.
Intel Maloney keynote leaked
A prematurely released copy of Intel's plans for a Wednesday keynote has surfaced a day in advance and has provided details of the company's plans for the near future. The release obtained by ZDNet has Intel executive VP Sean Maloney revealing that the company has started shipping its many-cored Larrabee graphics chip to developers ahead of a full release and demonstrating what it can do in real-time. The demo should show a custom build of the online shooter Enemy Territory: Quake Wars running with raytraced lighting, a feat which is technically difficult for any graphics hardware as it calculates the path of each ray of light rather than making "shortcut" calculations.
Intel demos 22nm at IDF
As part of its Developer Forum keynote, Intel today showed the first working example of chips built on a 22 nanometer (nm) process. The process is even smaller than the 32nm technology just entering production and should run even more efficiently while fitting more into a given space. A single example chip about the size of a fingernail contains about 2.9 billion transistors and about 364 megabits (45.5MB) of static RAM.
AMD Fiorano platform
AMD started the week today with a new whole platform for Opterons targeted at servers and the very high end of the computer market. Previously nicknamed Fiorano, the six-core Opteron with AMD chipset takes the company's existing server and workstation chips but adds a new chipset, the S5650, designed to scale for very heavy workloads. The technology now supports virtualization in hardware down to the very basic I/O interfaces and also brings the much faster PCI Express 2.0 interface and AMD's latest HyperTransport point-to-point interface between the processor and the rest of the system.
Intel 32nm and Jasper Forest enroute
Intel on Monday headed up its Developer Forum with word that it has started manufacturing its first processors based on a 32 nanometer (nm) process. The shrink from 45nm, nicknamed Westmere, should improve performance by increasing the density of the processors by about 30 percent while reducing the amount of power used; the gesture lets Intel boost clock speeds without drawing extra battery life or generating more heat.
Intel Lynnfield Official
Intel today brought its most recent chip architecture into the mainstream with the official start to Lynnfield, its lower-cost but also more advanced desktop platform. The design is headlined by updated Core i7 and new Core i5 processors that build not only the memory controller but also a 16X PCI Express interface directly into the processor die, leaving just a single chip on the mainboard to control the remaining PCI Express slots and other mainboard duties. The gesture cuts lag in talking directly to graphics hardware and reduces the footprint of the system.
Intel Core i5 Desk Sept 8
Intel's desktop Core i5 and i7 processors and its matching P55 platform are slated to appear in exactly a week, mainboard producers claimed today. A launch is expected on September 8th that should involve three processors already rumored for next month; these would include the 2.93GHz Core i7 870, 2.8GHz Core i7 860 and 2.66GHz Core i5 750. All of these are quad-core, but only the Core i7 models will have Hyperthreading and support as many as eight program threads at once.
Apple and MCP89 MCP99
Apple will not only move on to a newer NVIDIA platform for its notebooks but may include a second chipset, insiders claimed on Friday. Those purportedly within the notebook business tell DigiTimes that Macs will use MCP89, the successor to the existing GeForce 9400M (MCP79), but also that the company will use MCP99, a largely unknown second part. Other sources posting today suggest that MCP89 will be used for Core 2 mobile processors while MCP99 would be targeted at Nehalem-based Core i5/i7 processors and their eventual 32 nanometer successors under the future Westmere architecture.
Sandy Bridge in Q4 2010
Intel has scheduled the release of its 32nm Sandy Bridge processors for the fourth quarter of 2010, according to DigiTimes. The architecture will succeed Nehalem and its condensed 32nm version, Westmere, the latter of which is set to be released in the fourth quarter of 2009. Sandy Bridge supports 4GHz clock speeds, with scalable CPUs using up to eight cores. The architecture also houses CPUs and GPUs on one die, unlike the two-die approach taken with Nehalem.
NV SLI on Core i5 and i7
NVIDIA today broke some ground by confirming that Intel and mainboard producers such as ASUS, EVGA, GigaByte and MSI have all licensed SLI for use with upcoming Core i5 and i7 systems. The gesture gives tested mainboards based on Intel's P55 chipset support for using two or more GeForce graphics cards in tandem. Many Intel chipsets to date have focused instead on ATI's equvialent, CrossFire, though AMD's ownership of ATI is likely to help drive Intel's addition of the NVIDIA option.
iMac 2009 Feature Teaser
The next revision of Apple's iMac should bring at least a pair of much sought-after features, a teaser rumor puts forward. A veteran source for AppleInsider claims that at least two often-requested features should make it into the next revision. One vague claim says the all-in-one will address a 'wish-list' feature, but another is purported to address the semi-pro audio and visual editing segment.
A-DATA outs 4GB DRAM
Taiwan-based A-DATA announced on Tuesday it will soon release single 4GB DDR3 DRAM modules as part of its performance memory offerings. The high-capacity sticks will be available in the U-DIMM configuration for desktop applications, SO-DIMM for notebooks and unbuffered ECC-DIMM/ECC Registered DIMM for workstations and servers. Other than the higher capacity, A-DATA touts less energy use than when using two sticks to achieve the same total capacity.
Intel Core i5 i3 Sept 6
Intel's first truly mainstream, desktop processors based on its Nehalem architecture should be ready in less than two months, a leaked roadmap shows. The first three processors tipped earlier are now reportedly due to arrive on September 6th and, as promised, should be headlined by the quad-core 2.66GHz Core i5 750, 2.8GHz Core i7 860, and 2.93GHz Core i7 870. New, however is word that the i5 part won't support Hyperthreading but that all three will overclock substantially in Turbo Boost mode, reaching as high as 3.2GHz, 3.46GHz and 3.6GHz each when one or more cores can be shut down.
Intel Calpella at IDF Sept
Intel's Developer Forum in late September should mark the formal debut for its Calpella notebook platform and should serve as an opportunity to showcase its upcoming ultra-mobile technology as well, a leak indicated today. As part of an updated product roadmap, the semiconductor firm should provide detailed specs of Calpella and, presumably, the mobile Core i5 and i7 processors it will use. The overall platform is believed to ship in the fall.
Mobile Core i7 i5 Roadmap
Virtually all the essential details for Intel's first mobile chips based on the Nehalem architecture have escaped today courtesy of a roadmap. It now says the quad-core Clarksfield processors at 1.6GHz, 1.73GHz and 2GHz will be named the i7-720QM, i7-820QM and i7-920XM respectively with 8MB of cache on all but the slowest model. In a surprise, however, all three will also have dramatic headroom for increased clock speeds and should scale up to 2.8GHz, 3.06GHz and 3.2GHz. It's implied in the Impress leak that these speeds will come through Turbo Boost, a feature that shuts down one or more of the cores in return for higher clock speeds for tasks that don't need every core.
Intel Clarksfield by Oct
Intel's first mobile Nehalem processors, known under their Clarksfield codename, have had their launch date pushed to near the start of fall if a rumor proves true. Originally scheduled for the summer, the quad-core chips are now penned in for late September or early October. No reason has been given for the delay by the sources for DigiTimes, although the processors are known to consume large amounts of power.
Intel Clarksfield 45W
Intel's Core i7 notebook chips may all consume too much power to be used in anything but high-end notebooks, a late leak indicates. Also known as Clarksfield, the 1.6GHz and 1.73GHz quad-core parts were originally thought to use 35W of peak power, suitable for average and some thin-and-light notebooks, but are now estimated to use 45W and would be ruled out for all but larger, desktop replacement notebooks. The flagship 2GHz Core i7 Extreme would be even more demanding at 55W.
Apple May Drop NVIDIA
Apple and NVIDIA may be engaged in a fierce dispute that could exclude NVIDIA graphics chips from future Macs, according to sources reportedly aware of the talks. They claim to SemiAccurate that Apple views NVIDIA's proposals for renewed deals as "arrogance" and that much of the argument centers on the overheating material that triggered widespread failures in all GeForce 8400M and 8600M mobile graphics chips. The Mac firm has had to extend MacBook Pro warranties for up to three years and may be skeptical of NVIDIA's insistence that newer models aren't at risk of the same problem.
Intel Clarkdale Moving Up
Intel may be accelerating the launch of its first 32 nanometer desktop parts to this year if claims circulated by mainboard producers are accurate. Its first dual-core processors based on the most recent Nehalem architecture, nicknamed Clarkdale, was originally thought to be shipping in early 2010 but is now said by DigiTimes to be releasing these processors late this year. Production would be limited at first but would already have 32nm chips overtaking Core 2 Quad processors in terms of volume.
Intel Nehalem EX Preview
Intel today provided early official details about Nehalem-EX, the architecture that will form the foundation of the chip maker's highest-end Xeon processors. The design will stand as Intel's first eight-core processor and, thanks to Hyperthreading, will run as many as 16 program threads at once. It will also have the most bandwidth of any design with four QuickPath interfaces, which create a point-to-point link between the CPU, memory and peripherals. Each core will have as much as nine times the bandwidth of present-day Xeon 7400 processors.
Intel Core i5 Delayed
Intel's Core i5 processor platform has been pushed back until September, according to claims by those producing mainboards for the platform. The delay would move the launch from the original July and is purportedly meant to clear out stock of earlier designs due to the poor economy. When it does launch, the desktop processor range will reportedly start with 2.66GHz, 2.8Ghz and 2.93GHz processors in bulk prices of $196, $284 and $562 along with a matching mainboard chipset, the P55, costing $40 in volume.
Nehalem-EX chipsets soon
The next generation of Xeon server processors will be introduced on May 26th, according to an early Intel announcement. The Nehalem-EX series is based on the same platform as Intel's Core i7 chips, but is explicitly intended for high-end server use. Each processor incorporates eight cores, and can be used in multi-socket configurations. New power gates are said to reduce energy consumption, and 16 threads can be calculated simultaneously.
Intel 2H09 Notebook Plans
A leak of Intel's notebook processor plans for the second half of 2009 show the company moving aggressively into its new platforms during the summer. Those within notebook builders tell DigiTimes that the Nehalem-based notebook processor line, Calpella, is still on track for summer and is slated for mid- to high-range notebooks costing about $1,200 or more. Whether or not this will involve only quad-core processors, as recently rumored, isn't known.
Intel Calpella Early CPUs
A leak hints Intel's first use of its Nehalem architecture in a notebook processor, on the Calpella platform, may only include three processors all targeted at the high end of the market. Where most notebook processor launches often cover most of the range, DigiTimes hears the earliest chips will only be quad-core models (codenamed Clarksfield) and should include the Core 2 Quad P1, Core 2 Quad P2 and the Core 2 Extreme XE. Bulk prices would start at $364 for the P1 and scale up to $546 and $1,054 for the P2 and XE respectively.
Apple Slips Nehalem Xserve
Apple today has accidentally confirmed plans of its own to launch Xserve rackmount servers based on Xeon processors using Intel's Nehalem architecture. A Hong Kong product page (still active as of this writing) has a broken image link that asks users to "pre-order the new Xserve using Intel Xeon (Nehalem)" but doesn't take visitors to a relevant page. No specifications or other details have surfaced with the link itself.
HP intros Z Workstations
HP on Monday announced the upcoming release of three new Z-series workstation PCs. The flagship Z800, mid-range Z600 and entry-level Z400 are powered by Intel's Nehalem-era Xeon processors and require no tools to access and service all of their components, including their power supplies and motherboards. The modular interior design is cable-less, while the exteriors are designed by BMW Group Designworks USA and thought to add extra appeal to normally plain pro systems. The flagship Z800 Workstation is meant for highly-advanced applications such as 3D animation, broadcast video or medical imaging.
Intel Nehalem Xeons
Intel this afternoon finally made its Nehalem-based Xeon processors available to a wider audience. First introduced in the Mac Pro, the single-socket Xeon 3500 (not used by Apple) and the dual-socket Xeon 5500 share the same roots as Core i7 and drop the old northbridge system controller and system bus in favor of a point-to-point architecture known as the QuickPath Interface that talks directly to memory and peripherals. The memory controller is now built-in and can talk to three memory channels, improving bandwidth even as it drops lag.
Dell Nehalem PCs, SSD NAS
Dell is about to introduce three new Precision T-series PCs based on Intel's Nehalem platform. While the threesome has not been made fully official, Engadget has obtained early details and photos. The T3500 will have support for up to 24GB of RAM and should come priced starting at $999.
UBS on Nehalem, 10.5.7
New Macs based on Intel's Nehalem platform -- consisting of Core i7 and updated Xeon processors -- should indeed become available within the next few months, says UBS analyst Maynard Um. The research firm cites checks, which not only say that Mac OS X 10.5.7 will pave the way for Nehalem, but that the update could be released to the public as soon as this month. Rumors of a March 24th computer launch are said to aid this view, although Um observes that UBS cannot yet confirm any event.
Mac OS Nehalem support
The upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.7 could support Intel's Nehalem architecture along with AMD's Radeon HD 4000 graphics components, according to netkas. The beta version of the operating system allegedly includes five kernel extensions for the video cards, including the HD 4850 and 4870 chipsets, while enabling Core Image and Quartz Extreme acceleration.
Intel Westmere Details
Intel at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference today provided some of the first concrete details of Westmere, the codename for its 32 nanometer processor family. The design is primarily a smaller, more efficient adaptation of the Nehalem architecture in the Core i7 but, in the dual-core desktop (Clarkdale) and notebook (Arrandale) offerings, will include both a two-channel DDR3 memory interface and an integrated but switchable graphics core. Like NVIDIA's Hybrid SLI mode or AMD's Hybrid CrossFire, the technology will let systems with dedicated graphics chipsets revert to Intel's own core in low-demand situations or when on battery.
Intel $7B plant investment
Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini on Tuesday announced the chipmaker will make its biggest ever investment for a manufacturing process for its 32 nanometer chips. The plan is to spend $7 billion on retrofitting existing production plants to build the new chips in the US over the next two years. The manufacturing plants due for the upgrade are based in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico and will create about 7,000 jobs across the three states.
Nehalem Xeon Late March
Intel will release its Nehalem-based Xeons at the very end of the quarter, a late leak reveals. The semiconductor firm is believed to be readying the new Xeons for an unusual late March release that would see the first wave of processors announced on the 29th and available a day later. Pricing has also been corroborated for some chips and tops out at $1,557 for a 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon W5580, with a 2.93GHz parallel costing $1,349.
Intel 8 Core Xeon on Feb 9
Intel will give its first public look at an 8-core Xeon processor in less than two weeks at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the show's schedule (PDF) reveals. The unnamed chip will double the core count of existing Xeons and is based on the same 45 nanometer manufacturing process and Nehalem architecture that underpins the Core i7. The shift adds Hyperthreading and will let even a single-socket Xeon processor theoretically address as many as 16 simultaneous program threads at once by putting two threads on each core.
Nehalem Xeon Benchmarks
Early tests conducted with Intel's upcoming Nehalem-based Xeons by TechRadar today show the processor running approximately twice as fast as its current equivalent. Based on the same basic design as Core i7 mainstream chips, a pair of 2.8GHz quad-core Xeon X5560 chips received a SPEC score of 160 in floating-point math tests versus 90 for two 3.4GHz Xeons from the current generation.
Intel Ships Core i7
Intel is starting the week by officially shipping its first Core i7 processors. The technology is just the seventh major x86 architecture from the company and is designed more explicitly for multi-core processors than the earlier Core 2 architecture. It marks the return of Hyperthreading from the Pentium 4 and allows each core to theoretically run two program threads at once; the overall processor also has the option of a Turbo Mode that can disable as many as three cores and overclock the remaining cores for apps that depend only on one or two threads.
Xeon i7 in Early 2009
Intel's Core i7 architecture will translate to workstation- and server-class Xeon processors early next year, leaks from server builders and separate sources indicates. Though not in time for the holidays, the faster Xeon 5500 line will be dominated by quad-core chips and should be headlined by a 3.2GHz, 130-watt Xeon W5580. Its Level 2 cache will drop from 12MB to 8MB but should be offset by Core i7's QuickPath architecture, which reduces the lag in accessing memory and peripherals. It should cost about $1,600 in batches of 1,000 for computer suppliers.
Intel Core i7 Debut Nov 17
Intel's first Core i7 processors are now due to ship in less than two weeks, the company has revealed in an invitation sent to the press. The next-generation processor architecture should be unveiled on November 17th and is being billed as the fastest CPU "on the planet" based on SPEC's integer math tests; no mention is made of floating-point math or other benchmarks.