Intel to detail eight-core Xeon processor

Intel plans to detail an eight-core Xeon processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco next month, offering an early look at what appears to be the company's first eight-core chip.

Details of the Xeon processor that will be discussed during the Feb. 9 presentation are scarce. The ISSCC program only reveals that Intel executives will discuss an eight-core, 16-thread Xeon processor manufactured with a 45-nanometer process.

Intel declined to comment on the Xeon processor that will be detailed during the presentation. "We are presenting 16 papers at ISSCC, but don't have anything further to share at this point," said Nick Jacobs, a company spokesman in Singapore.

The timing of the presentation suggests the eight-core Xeon processor is likely to be the Nehalem EP processor, an upcoming chip that is designed for dual-socket servers and workstations. This segment of the Xeon line is due for a refresh, and the Nehalem EP processor is scheduled to be released during early 2009.

Like other Nehalem chips, the Nehalem EP 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.

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