Intel Outlines Next Generation Processors (Nehalem) Due in Late 2008

Intel's aggressive advancement of their processor technology has made it difficult for the casual onlooker to keep up.

Intel first introduced their current Core microarchitecture in Q1 2006. This represented a significant leap forward over their previous Pentium M microarchitecture. Apple took advantage of this transition and delivered some of their first Intel Macs using the Core-based processors. The Core microarchitecture spawned many processor revisions which were known by their code names: Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest, and Penryn. Many of these processors have been used in Apple's Macs over the past 2 years.

On Tuesday, Intel provided the first official information about the Nehalem microarchitecture -- the successor to the Core microarchitecture. Intel plans on phasing out the Core microarchitecture starting in late 2008 with the introduction of Nehalem-based server processors. Laptop and desktop processors based on Nehalem are not expected until 2009.

While we've touched on rumored Nehalem features before, Intel has officially confirmed many of those details. The key new features in Nehalem are Simultaneous multithreading, QuickConnect, and tri-channel DDR3 -- all of which are expected to bring a significant leap forward again in processor performance:

Nehalam should pack one heck of a punch once it debuts in late 2008. Mainstream/desktop shipments won't appear until 2009, but Intel's redeployment of SMT, combined with its first integrated memory controller and new QuickPath Interconnect, should toss Nehalem performance clock-per-clock into the stratosphere.

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