Intel to reveal eight-core Xeon processor Feb. 9

Intel plans to reveal an eight-core Xeon processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco on Feb. 9, offering a preview of the company's first eight-core chip.

Intel plans to reveal an eight-core Xeon processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco on Feb. 9, offering a preview of the company's first eight-core chip.

Details about the chip are scarce, and the ISSCC program reveals only that Intel executives will discuss an eight-core, 16-thread Xeon processor manufactured with a 45-nanometer process.

"We are presenting 16 papers at ISSCC, but don't have anything further to share at this point," said Nick Jacobs, an Intel spokesman in Singapore.

The timing of the presentation suggests the eight-core Xeon processor is likely to be the Nehalem EP EX processor, an upcoming chip that is designed for dual-socket servers and workstations for 4 and 8 socket systems. This segment of the Xeon line is due for a refresh, and the Nehalem EP EX processor is scheduled to be released in Q4 of this year.

Like other Nehalem chips, the Nehalem EP EX chips will include an integrated memory controller and use Intel's Quick Path Interconnect (QPI), which replaces the front-side bus and allows more data to flow between the processors and other components in the computer, speeding up the computer's overall performance.

Editor's note: This post originally and incorrectly suggested that Intel's upcoming announcement of an eight-core Xeon chip could be the Nehalem EP processor. That speculation was originally by Macworld and is incorrect; the EP chip is only four-core. Former ZDNet blogger George Ou has indicated that the appropriate chip would be the eight-core Nehalem EX. At the time of this update (1/30/09), Macworld's post has not been corrected.

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