IDG News Service - An upcoming Intel Corp. quad-core Xeon server processor, code-named Clovertown, likely contains two dual-core chips in a single package, according to an industry analyst, who warned the processor may not offer a significant boost in performance.
"Intel hasn't said whether it architected Clovertown as a quad-core processor, or merely combined a pair of dual-core chips in a multichip package," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight64, in a research note. Clovertown is expected to hit the market in early 2007.
While Intel has yet to offer details of the Clovertown design, Brookwood believes the chip uses two Woodcrest dice, or pieces of silicon, housed in a single package. Woodcrest is the code name of an upcoming dual-core Xeon chip developed by Intel, he said.
Intel used a similar ad hoc design for its first generation of dual-core processors, which included either two cores on a single die or two single-core dice housed in one package, Brookwood said.
"We've seen this movie and it didn't have a happy ending then, either," he wrote.
The problem is performance. Intel's earlier dual-core chips contained two cores that shared a single front-side bus, which is housed outside the chip, Brookwood said. The front-side bus connects a computer's processor with main memory. While Intel's first dual-core chips outperformed a single-core chip, a better dual-core design would likely have meant even greater performance, he said.
The Blackford chip set designed to be used with the dual-core Woodcrest chip addresses the performance issue in earlier chips by offering two independent front-side buses, one for each core. However, those same performance issues return with the Clovertown design, which has two cores sharing each of Blackford's two front-side buses, Brookwood said.
As a result of this design choice, Clovertown's performance will only be "marginally better" than Woodcrest in most applications, Brookwood said. The performance would be better if Intel used a better processor architecture, he said.
"We are confident that eventually Intel will introduce quad-core Xeon processors with competitive performance, but we doubt that Clovertown will be the vehicle that meets this target," he wrote.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!