Intel’s Nehalem chips to be renamed Core i7

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Moving into the multicore era, Intel hopes that its forthcoming Nehalem architecture will be a success – and has renamed it as the ‘Core i7’ brand for the first lot of chips using the new architecture. There will also be a new logo, well two – the traditional blue that many will sport, and a "Extreme" edition with a black logo.

The ‘i7’ identity will be attached to them during the first wave of new chips, set to be out by the end of the year, and will be built on the same 45nm die as the Penryn chips – instead built on Nehalem.

Nehalem will see all four cores fit in onto a single piece of silicon, and will have an integrated memory controller with support for DDR, Level 3 cache (up to 8MB on desktop computers and 24MB for servers) to be shared among the four cores, a point-to-point processor interconnect to replace the front side bus and integrated graphics.

It will also support simultaneous multi-threading, meaning it can handle two threads per core. As well, the new architecture is set to be used when the chips shrink to 32nm under what Intel is calling "Westmere" by the end of 2009, with the following year will see the new "Sandy Bridge" architecture replacing Nehalem.

The "Core" brand is Intel’s answer after dumping its Pentium brand, and has been used to specify how many cores are in the processors – and has expanded to Core Solo, Core Duo and Core 2 – which has resulted in two more: Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad.

Nehalm is also expected to be the foundation for its sixth-gen Centrino platform, codenamed Calpella, and that is due in mid-2009.