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Monday, 6 August 2012
8/06/2012 11:15:00 pm 0

Towards the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition


Core i7 is a successor to the Intel Core 2 brand. Intel Core i7 includes several families of desktop and laptop processors. This family includes 64-bit x86-64 processors that use the Nehalem, Westmere, Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge micro architectures. Intel Core has developed a series of processors; among them are the latest Intel Core i7, Intel Core i5, and Intel Core i3, and the older Intel Core 2 Solo, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, and Intel Core 2 Extreme lines.

The second generation of Core i7 processors based on the “Sandy Bridge” core was released in January 2011 and later on they were updated in April 2012 with "Ivy Bridge" micro architecture.
Bloomfield is the code name given to existing Core i7 900-series processors. Core i7 900-series includes 3.33-GHz Core i7 975, 3.06-GHz Core i7 950, and 2.66-GHz Core i7-920 processors. The 2.93-GHz Core i7 870 and 2.8-GHz Core i7 860 processors are code named as "Lynnfield". The brand-new, 2.66-GHz Core i5 750 CPU is a Lynnfield chip.

The Intel Core i7 Processor is known as Nehalem .Nehalem brings some new improvements in the Intel approach to CPU, system scaling and DRAM memory management.

Let's walk through the big architectural changes:
  • Number of pins in the new Core i7 processor is 1366. 
  • Larger size of the processor, socket and heat sink mounting brackets. This new processor socket LGA1366 is quite a bit bigger than LGA775. 
  • The die size of Core i7 processors is 263 mm2 
  • The transistor count is 731 Million that are built up-on a 45nm fabrication processes.
  • All Nehalem chips have 64KB of L1 cache and 256KB of L2 cache. Those are supplemented by a large pool of shared L3 cache.
  • Quick Path: This includes an integrated triple channel DDR3 memory controller that allows getting the product heaps of memory bandwidth.
  • Hyper-Threading: It is a Pentium 4 era technology. Quad-core Core i7's processors use the concept of Hyper-Threading that lets the operating system see eight virtual cores to be used.
  • New SSE4.2 Instructions 
  • Improved Lock Support 
  • Additional Caching Hierarchy 
  • Deeper Buffers 
  • Improved Loop Streaming 
  • Simultaneous Multi-Threading 
  • Faster Virtualization 
  • Better Branch Prediction

Three more Core i7 processors are going to be released by Intel in the following years.  All these processors will have a TDP (Thermal design power) of 130W and an on-die shared L3 cache of 8MB.

  • Core i7 965 Extreme Edition - 3.2GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1x6.4GT/s QuickPath interconnect 
  • Core i7 940 - 2.93GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1x4.8GT/s QuickPath interconnect 
  • Core i7 920 - 2.66GHz with 8MB Shared L3 cache and a 1x4.8GT/s QuickPath interconnect 
Here we have read the Core i7 architecture Nehalem, it’s just a beginning. More products are to be released in the following years that will lead to more energy-efficient computing.

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