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Intel Develops 'HPC-Optimized' 6-core Xeon Processors


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Oct 9, 2007
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Following AMD's recent success of its 6-core Opteron processor in the TOP500 supercomputer list, Intel has sensed a market for "HPC-optimized" processors, which the company expects will be out in the first half of 2010. These could be either variants of the Nehalem-EX multi-socket capable processors, or that by design, Nehalem-EX suits HPC (high-performance computing) applications better.

These 6-core processors will carry clock speeds higher than 8-core Xeon processors around that time. The processors will be able to work in systems with up to 256 processors (logical CPUs). In addition to these Intel also announced that it will be releasing a beta version of its Ct technology by the end of this year. Ct makes parallel programming in the C and C++ programming languages easier, by automatically optimizing code to exploit multi-core and many-core systems.

Source: TechConnect Magazine
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Err. Confused. In HTPC environments, isnt performance/price the index you want? The more cores per die, the cheaper the CPU cost, as well as the system board cost. At similar system socket costs, the 6 core will need to clock 33% higher than an 8 core just to achieve the same performance. And therefore 50% higher to create a "win". I doubt this is possible.

So it sounds like Intel has got a cooling problem with the 8-core... and this is an interim fix. Or they see a high-performance workstation, with just 1, 2 or 4 sockets, as a big market, and such a setup will benefit from higher clocks rather than greater parallelism.

The news about Ct also addresses this point... too much HPC/workstation code is not optimised for multi-core parallelism, therefore developer tools are needed, and more MHz rather than more cores is what people want. (In some fields).


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lemonade: HPC doesnt mean HTPC.

Nehalem-EX suits HPC (high-performance computing) applications better.


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So, are they low wattage hexacore processors? Octocore processors will be debuting in 2010?

Ct appears to be the most interesting aspect. I wonder if Ct is purely software/driver of if it requires a different processor to function.
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I guess some people forgot already that there is a 6 core desktop variant coming out anyway called Gulftown, so it would be no surprise if they made a server variant anyway.