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Intel goes multi-core crazy for "Keifer" server line

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
July 10, 2006
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We've been seeing the multi-core trend oncoming for a while now, but it seems Intel isn't just kidding around with the idea. The word on the street is that they have plans for a 32 core chip line named "Keifer" in the next few years to bust on those server tasks, which will no doubt be as boring and onerous as the processes of today. The good news is that while those chips will be fairly low on GHz -- about one third of the fastest Xeon CPU currently available -- but they'll manage 15x the performance with all those cores working in parallel, running a total of 128 threads. Based on a 32nm process, each Keifer should have eight processing nodes holding four cores, with a total of 24MB of cache between them. It appears Intel is most worried about keeping up with the multi-core efforts of Sun's Ultra Sparc chips, with little fear for AMD's Opteron roadmap, but with these Keifer chips being due around 2010, we're wondering how long it'll take for all this crazy multi-core action to trickle down into laptop chips for 32x (or 15x, as it were) the portable fun. The biggest hurdle of all, however, could be a consumer Microsoft OS that can fully help software take advantage of multiple cores, a task which Vista isn't quite up to.

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