Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More On Penryn

In a previous blog entry, I noted that Intel was planning to release "penryn" in the final quarter of this year (2007). During a conference call Monday morning, Intel executives provided an overview of the more than twenty new products and initiatives being announced later today at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, including new performance specs for the company's next generation Penryn processor family.

Intel said that early Penryn performance tests show a 15 percent increase in imaging related applications, a 25 percent performance increase for 3D rendering, and more than 40 percent performance increase for gaming. The tests, according to Maloney, were based on pre-production 45nm Intel quad core processors running at 3.33 GHz with a 1333 front side bus and 12 MB cache versus a 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme (QX6800) processor, just announced last week . Intel said that for high-performance computing, users can expect gains of up to 45 percent for bandwidth intensive applications, and a 25 percent increase for servers using Java. Those tests were based on 45nm Xeon processors with 1,600-MHz front side buses for workstations and HPCs, and a 1,333 MHz front side bus for servers - versus current quad-core X5355 processors, the company said.

During the call, Intel execs also took the opportunity to reveal a few more details on Project Larrabee, a new "highly parallel, IA-based programmable" architecture that the company says it is now designing products around. While details were scant, Maloney did say that the architecture is designed to scale to trillions of floating point operations per second (teraflops) of performance and will include enhancements to accelerate applications such as scientific computing, recognition mining, synthesis, visualization, financial analytics, and health applications.

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