Real Nehalem systems, no Intel poker face


Dell introduced the new Dell Precision workstations based on the Xeon product line from Intel today. As the master of PC industry road-map, Intel tells IBM, Dell, HP and other PC manufacturers what they are building next and when. These processors also power the new Mac Pro and Apple has a nice summary of the architecture on their site. Nehalem (Xeon 3500/5500) utilizes the 45nm process and features the latest micro-architecture. The next stop will be the shrink of the die called "Westmere" in a 32nm process. Intel has a well thought out roadmap - shrink, then innovate, then shrink again (Tick/Tock). This gives OEMs a good runway for product planning and price/performance curve forecasting. Now with Cisco's entry into the datacenter space, they will also be a key stakeholder in the future generations. Much has been said about virtualization enhancements with this architecture but the real key is on-chip memory control. Improved memory management is the key to supporting more VM instances on the bare metal. We'll see the rest of the industry show their hands on Monday.