Intel's upcoming generation of processors, called the Nehalem, will be introduced later this year, and all the signals point to a Q4 release. As previously stated by the chip manufacturer during this spring's Intel Developer Forum, the first Nehalem units to hit the market will be built on the 45-nanometer process technology (Bloomfield silicon) and will sport four processing cores.
It is widely known that the 4-core behemoth will come with an integrated DDR3-1333 memory controller, SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) technology and 8 MB of L2 cache. The SMT implementation will allow each of the CPU cores to simultaneously process two threads, just like the previous HyperThreading technology introduced back in the Pentium 4 era.
In spite of all the details regarding the Nehalem Bloomfield chips, Intel is still not talking about a supportive motherboard for the upcoming architecture. However, recent details leaked from the chip manufacturer point to the fact that the first Nehalem-ready motherboard will be built around the Intel Tylesburg chipset, that seems to be branded as X58.
The X58 will be packed full with new features, and is expected to work in conjunction with Intel's ancient ICH10/R southbridge. According to Intel's chipset roadmap, the new northbridge is expected to arrive sometime during the fourth quarter of 2008, probably at the same time as the Bloomfield silicon.
Motherboards built using the X58 chipset will provide triple-channel DDR3-1333 support, two or four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots, a Socket 1366 interconnect and seem to be the company's flagship platform offering for desktop computing. Other motherboard features are currently unknown, especially the graphics part.
According to previous rumors, Intel will ditch SLI support from its Nehalem line-up and the Tylesburg chip are expected to come with CrossFireX technology instead.
X58, Intel's First Nehalem Chipset
The new northbridge will arrive during the fourth quarter of 2008