During a press briefing today, Intel Digital Enterprise Group Senior VP and General Manager Pat Gelsinger revealed new and exciting details about several of Intel’s upcoming products. Among those are Dunnington, the company’s upcoming six-core server part; Nehalem, the next-generation architecture that will supplant Core 2 processors later this year; and Larrabee, Intel’s forthcoming discrete graphics processor.
Starting with Dunnington, Gelsinger confirmed the information leaked by Sun last month by saying the upcoming processor will feature six cores, 16MB of L3 cache, and a staggering 1.9 billion transistors. Dunnington’s six cores will all be Core 2-based, and the processor will slip into the same Caneland platform as today’s Socket 604, Xeon 7300-series CPUs.
Interestingly, Dunnington appears to be a single-die product, unlike Intel’s four-core offerings that are just two dual-core dies tacked together on the same package. When asked in the Q&A session why Intel had chosen six cores instead of eight, Gelsinger said Intel wanted to balance the number of cores with the amount of cache and the chip’s cost envelope. A “detailed set of workload characterizations” led the company to conclude that six cores with 16 megs of L3 cache is the “sweet spot.” Dunnington shipments are due some time in the second half of the year.
After talking a little about Dunnington, Gelsinger moved on to the pi