|Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 22 December 2008|
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Intel Core i7: Platform
What is Nehalem Technology?
The Intel Core i7 microprocessor is built using a new micro architecture, codenamed "Nehalem," that allows chips to handle more data, quicker and more energy efficiently. Go inside Intel's labs and meet some of the thousands of Intel engineers who helped design and test the new processor. "Building this microprocessor brings a lot of people together, like architects, micro architects and the design teams," says Rani Borkar, vice president of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "As you get into the development phases, working with the process technology, it's a mind-boggling effort that requires a lot of teamwork across the board."
Before going into the specifications and features of the entire Intel Core i7 processor series we thought some background information about the new Nehalem technology might be in order. While doing research for this review I came a cross a very useful document on Intel's website entitled: "First the Tick, Now the Tock: Next Generation Intel Micro-architecture (Nehalem)". This white paper article helped me to gain a much better understanding of not only the features we'll see today in the Core i7 series of processors, but in future product releases we're likely to see that will implement other aspects of the Nehalem architecture. The article itself is 8 pages long so I'll leave it to you to read it in its entirety, but I will share a few excerpts that may help you to gain a better understanding of the products we'll visit today.
The first chapter is all about scalability. Next generation Intel micro architecture (Nehalem) is a dynamically scalable and design-scalable micro architecture. At runtime, it dynamically manages cores, threads, cache, interfaces, and power to deliver outstanding energy efficiency and performance on demand. At design time, it scales, enabling Intel to easily provide versions that are optimized for each server, desktop, and notebook market. Intel will deliver versions differing in the number of cores, caches, interconnect capability, and memory controller capability, as well as in the segmented use of an integrated graphics controller. This allows Intel to deliver a wide range of price, performance, and energy efficiency targets for servers, workstations, desktops, and laptops.
To extract greater performance from this new micro architecture, in targeted market segments, Intel is also introducing a new platform architecture: Intel QuickPath Architecture. Through integrated memory controllers and a high-speed interconnect for connecting processors and other components, Intel QuickPath Architecture delivers best-in-class performance, bandwidth, and reliability. In turn, it truly enables systems to fully unleash the new levels of performance that new and more powerful next generation micro architecture-based processor cores will deliver.
Next generation Intel micro architecture (Nehalem) marks the next step (a "tock") in Intel's rapid "tick-tock" cadence for delivering a new process technology (tick) or an entirely new micro architecture (tock) every year. The first Nehalem-based processors are expected to release in the latter part of 2008. The family will grow to include server, workstation, desktop, and mobile processors.
The next generation micro architecture's performance and power management innovations include:
For more information on Intel's Core i7 series, please visit our Featured Reviews: Processors section which includes comprehensive articles on the Core i7-920 (BX80601920) and Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processors.