Intel To Launch Core i7 Nov. 17 With PC Demos - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Intel To Launch Core i7 Nov. 17 With PC Demos

The processors, code-named Nehalem, already have received strong praise from "first-look" reviewers.

Intel plans to formally launch the first processors based on its new Core i7 design, code-named Nehalem, at a Nov. 17 event that will feature the first PC desktops running the high-performance chip line.

The San Francisco press event will feature the use of the new chips in powering PC games and content creation, presumably video. Intel is promising to show a "wide range" of usage of its latest products.

The first chips being released are quad-core desktop models, the 920, 940, and 965 Extreme. Clock speeds are 2.66 GHz, 2.93 GHz, and 3.2 GHz, respectively, and prices in batches of 1,000 are $284, $562, and $999.

Intel plans to release Core i7 models for servers in the first half of next year and models for notebooks in the second half.

In building anticipation for the official unveiling, Intel released evaluation copies of Core i7 processors to reviewers, who have largely given the chips the thumbs up. The "first look" review on ChannelWeb, a site owned by United Business Media, which also publishes InformationWeek, found that the new processors have the performance "to drive current data center-class performance onto the desktop." Reviews have also been strong on other sites, such as ExtremeTech, LegitReviews, AnandTech, and Register Hardware.

A major enhancement in the Core i7 is the dropping of a front-side bus in favor of a memory controller integrated inside the processor, a design pioneered by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices. Intel calls the new technology the QuickPath Interface, which is a worthy competitor to AMD's HyperTransport bus.

Core i7 is built using Intel's advanced manufacturing process that reduces the size of the transistors on a chip to 45 nanometers. By shrinking the size, chipmakers can pack more transistors on a single die, dramatically increasing power-to-performance ratios. AMD is scheduled to release its first 45-nm chips this quarter, about a year after Intel started shipping such products.

A block diagram of the Core i7 "Nehalem" processor and a shot of the chip are here.

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