Intel Next Gen Mobile and Six-Core Westmere Processors

Written By Sam on 6 February 2010
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Intel unleashed many additional details of its hexa-core desktop, next generation mobile and dual-core Westmere processors. Intel enhanced many technical aspects of its processors along with improvements in power consumption levels.

Westmere 6C ( codename Gulftown) is basically a native six-core chip that has wadded nearly 1.17 billion transistors into a die measuring 240mm sq. Westmere 6C carries 12MB up L3 and a TDP of 130W at 3.33GHz and expected to boost both the core and cache count by 50 percent with not much changes in the processor’s thermal envelope. However, additional technologies incorporated in Gulftown will reduce the CPU’s power consumption especially when it is in idle state. All the previous processors of Intel had seen changes only in the Core hardware though the Uncore hardware could not be effectively controlled, but now through Westmere 6C, Intel will fine-tune both the sections thus enabling minimal power consumption without any adverse effects. Gulftown will also support low-voltage DDR3 that utilizes an operating voltage of 1.35v. As per details announced by Intel, these techniques will reduce the power consumption up to 20 percent overall.

Intel’s big mobile-specific tech, Arrandale (32nm Westmere 2C) is a Turbo Boost for graphics mode, which cuts the CPU frequency and ramps the IGP higher in order to improvise the graphical performance. This improvisation has been coined as “HD Graphics with dynamic frequency.” The specification sheets of Intel Core i3 processor lists a 500MHz standard frequency with a 667MHz maximum dynamic frequency while other Core i5 mobile parts will feature a frequency of 766MHz that replicates an increase of 1.33x and 1.53x respectively. Arrandale’s integrated IGP includes many enhanced features, which makes more powerful than desktop predecessors do, but these “new” features such as hierarchical Z support have been implemented nine years by ATI and NVIDIA in their GPU’s.

In addition to the x86 CPU briefings, Intel is expected to present many paper’s at ISSCC very soon, which will mainly emphasize on the company’s ongoing research works that includes digital intelligence, high-speed interconnects, and reconfigurable computing along with details of a 48-core single-chip processor, unveiled last year.

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