Intel Corporation unveiled 16 server and high-end PC processors promising increased computer performance and energy savings. The company says these processors also eliminate eco-unfriendly lead and, in 2008, halogen materials.
Called the biggest transistor advancements in 40 years by Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore, the processors are the first to use Intel’s Hafnium-based high-k metal gate (Hi-k) formula for the hundreds of millions of transistors inside these processors.
These Intel Core 2 Extreme and Xeon processors are also the first to be manufactured on the company’s 45-nanometer (nm) manufacturing process, further boosting performance and lowering power consumption.
The breakthroughs clear the path for Intel to design products that are 25 percent smaller than previous versions and thus, more cost-effective, as well as the ability next year to pursue new ultra mobile and consumer electronics “system on chip” opportunities.
“The intellects, physics and designs that went into solving one of the industry’s most daunting challenges are awe-inspiring and I congratulate the Intel teams for this breakthrough achievement,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “Best yet, this feat, coupled with our industry-leading architectures, means faster and sleeker computers, longer battery life and better energy efficiency. Our objective is to bring consumers a new class of computers delivering a full internet experience in ever-smaller, more portable form factors.”
The new 45nm (a nanometer is 1 billionth of a metre) processors boast nearly twice the transistor density of previous chips built on the company’s 65nm technology - that is up to 820 million transistors for quad-core processors, each using Intel’s new formula.
The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad core processor, the world’s first 45nm Hi-k desktop processor comes with a larger L2 cache and support for new Intel SSE4 media instructions, helping bring desktop performance to “extreme” new levels.
“One of our goals was to optimise Crysis in order to deliver the ultimate quality, bringing mind-blowing game play to the latest hardware,” said Dr. Douglas Binks, R&D manager, Crytek. “With the new 45nm Hi-k Intel Core 2 Extreme processors, we use multi-core technology to enable physics, particle effects and audio on separate cores, helping Crysis to create an astounding gaming experience.”
New to the Intel line-up of server processors are 15 server dual-core and quad-core 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors. The 12 new quad-core chips boast clock speeds ranging from 2GHz up to 3.20GHz, with front side bus speeds (FSB) up to 1600MHz, and cache sizes of 12MB. The three new dual-core chips feature clock speeds of up to 3.40GHz, an FSB of up to 1600MHz, and cache sizes of 6MB.
The 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors are compatible with server platforms using the Intel 5000 chipset family.
The move from 65nm to 45nm involves more than just a shrink of current chip designs. The processors include such additional features as new Intel Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4), which are 47 new instructions that speed up workloads including video encoding for high-definition and photo manipulation, as well as key HPC and enterprise applications. Software vendors supporting the new SSE4 instruction set include Adobe*, Microsoft* and Symantec*.
Pricing of the 45nm Hi-k Intel Xeon processors, including the 45nm Hi-k Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad core depends on the model, speeds, features and amount ordered. Depending on the model, these processors are available today or within 45 days.