Intel reportedly eyes future 18-core 'Broadwell' chip

What kind of high-performance silicon is Intel planning in the not-too-distant future? A site that covers chips says that future includes an 18-core processor.

Intel

A high-performance version of Intel's future Broadwell chip will squeeze in 18 cores -- Intel's highest core count to date -- according to a report. Meanwhile, another report points to future Broadwell chips that could populate tablets.

Vr-zone reported this week that a future 18-core Broadwell-EP or EX Xeon chip is planned that is based on Intel's upcoming 14-nanometer production process.

"Intel will not...speed up the cores, but simply pile up more of them on each [chip] die," said Vr-zone, which published a slide showing a purported Intel roadmap.

That multi-core chip wouldn't arrive until 2015, according to Vr-zone.

Intel is also planning 8- to 10-core high-performance desktop and workstation processors, Vr-zone said.

The first Broadwell silicon is expected in the first half of next year. Broadwell follows the current Haswell generation of processors. Intel core counts now top out at 12.

More processor cores can offer better performance if the software can take advantage of the extra cores.

And that's not all Intel has planned for Broadwell. CPU World is reporting that at the other end of processor spectrum, future power-sipping Broadwell chips could have thermal envelopes as low as 4.5 watts.

That would make Broadwell an easy fit for tablets and 2-in-1s -- a market that Intel is paying a lot of attention to these days.

Intel declined to comment.

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