Intel readies 15-core Ivytown server chip

Word first got out about Intel's 15-core Ivytown chip last December. At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, the chipmaker revealed more about the upcoming server processor—including clock speeds, thermal envelopes, and a launch time frame. PC World has the details.

The site says Ivytown, which will "likely be announced next week," will belong to the Xeon E7 series. It will be aimed at four- and eight-socket servers, and Intel will offer variants clocked from 1.4GHz to 3.8GHz with thermal envelopes between 40W and 150W. Ivytown's 15 cores will all have Hyper-Threading, meaning each processor will have the ability to juggle up to 30 threads in parallel. There will be 40 on-chip PCI Express lanes, as well.

As PC World points out, AMD already offers 16-core server processors as part of the Opteron 6300 series. AMD recently extended that lineup with a low-power "Warsaw" offering, which has a 2GHz base speed, a 2.5GHz Turbo peak, and a 99W TDP. Other Opteron 6300-series models have 115W or 140W TDPs, and they're clocked as high as 2.8GHz with Turbo peaks of up to 3.5GHz.

Of course, those AMD chips are fabricated on a 32-nm SOI process. Ivytown will presumably be fabbed using Intel's 22-nm process with tri-gate transistors. The smaller geometries likely explain at least in part why Intel will be able to cram 15 cores into a 40W thermal envelope.

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