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Intel's CPU Roadmap: To Nehalem and Beyond

Intel's CPU Roadmap: To Nehalem and Beyond


Nehalem - Intel's Next Gen Processor goes NUMA

Nehalem - Intel's Next Gen Processor goes NUMA

Probably the most anticipated processor architecture update from Intel even before the Core microarchitecture came in to existence was the notion of Intel following the footsteps of AMD's non-uniform shared memory access (NUMA) implementation for their platforms. As seen from the days the Athlon XP to the power shift in processor supremacy in AMD's heydays when they introduced the Opteron and Athlon 64 processors, their fortunes raised ever since they implemented the NUMA architecture in conjunction with an updated core architecture.

While the Core 2 Duo processor was a great success, it was still hedging on the traditional platform topology that served it well. After all these years, Intel is finally making the leap to a NUMA platform as well and that is one of the biggest highlights of the Nehalem microprocessor architecture. So why the change when the existing platform doesn't seem to be an issue? As part of their long-term planning, Nehalem was to be the first of their new generation architecture that was designed for high performance, dynamic and design-scalable microarchitecture. This would mean increased multi-processor communications as Intel ramps up the number of cores in a CPU as well as the need for ever greater memory bandwidth and at low latencies. This was the catalyst for Intel to adopt a new platform architecture altogether for better scalability and inter-component communications, thus comes the Nehalem.

At the point of publishing this article, Intel mentioned that they are on schedule to ramp production for Nehalem in the last quarter of 2008 and according to roadmaps, full scale availability would probably be at the very end of 2008, but more likely in early 2009. It's interesting that we've not yet crossed over the first quarter 2008 and yet we're here discussing on 2009's products. For those who love to look forward into the future, you'll get loads of information in this article. So read on as we detail you more of what to expect from Nehalem.