Intel to detail 8-core server chip

Chipmaker is expected to announce details of an 8-core processor for the high-end server market next week.

Updated at 10:00 a.m. PDT with correction about launch of Nehalem-EX processor.

Intel is expected to announce details of an 8-core processor for the high-end server market next week.

The chip itself will not actually ship in systems until late 2009 or early 2010.

The 8-core "Nehalem-EX" Xeon processor is designed for servers that can use more than two processors (referred to as "sockets" in server argot). Currently, Intel is shipping Nehalem Xeon processors for servers with two sockets.

Nehalem is the same architecture used in Intel's Core i7 desktop processor line.

The Nehalem-EX is expected to become Intel's top-line Xeon processor. Currently, the six-core "Dunnington" processor, based on Intel's older Penryn architecture, is Intel's highest-performance chip for multi-processor servers.

Nehalem-EX packs 2.3 billion transistors and its eight cores are capable of executing 16 threads (or tasks) at the same time. The chip also has "integrated power gates" for lowering power-consumption.

The announcement of details is slated for May 26. Boyd Davis, Intel's general manager of Server Platforms Marketing Group, will host the roll-out event and "discuss how this new server product raises the standard in cost-effective RISC replacement solutions," according to an Intel note about the event.

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