Intel planning future 18-core processor: report

Intel is reportedly planning an 18-core version of its next-generation server and workstation processors, and is also working on ultra-low-Wattage tablet chips.

According to VR-Zone, Intel’s plan for its next generation of desktop and workstation CPUs, code-named Broadwell, is to use the increase in manufacturing efficiency to fit more processing cores onto each piece of silicon.

Where current Intel Haswell processors have up to 12 physical cores on a single CPU, in the Xeon E5 variant used in the new Apple Mac Pro, a future Broadwell chip could boast up to 18 cores. This is made possible by Intel’s upcoming move to a new, more efficient 14-nanometre production process, where current chips are made on 22-nanometre technology.

VR-Zone‘s slides show that future high-powered servers, likely available in 2015, may also be able to boast up to 2TB of RAM in a single configuration. A huge amount of storage, networking or other peripherals are supported through up to 80 PCI-Express lanes, with Intel also planning a 40 Gigabit Ethernet chip (that’s 40,000MBps of network transit speed).

CPU World is looking at the other end of Intel’s processor line-up, identifying an extremely energy efficient Broadwell system-on-chip variant. Intel’s Y-series Broadwell SoC will use a dual-core processor, mid-range GT2 integrated graphics chipset, and will support 8GB of RAM, all in a 4.5 Watt thermal design package. This future Intel chipset has the potential to bring Ultrabook levels of performance to the compact tablet form factor, with all-day battery life.

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