Australia’s IT online has a good story today talking about Intel’s global launch events around its new Nehalem Xeon quad-core processors. Noting Intel’s “tick-tock” philosophy wherein a every second or so year Intel introduces a brand new chip microarchitecture (tock) and between those two years they shrink that architecture down to a smaller manufacturing process (tick), the Australia IT article says, “Today is a tock day at Intel and at events around the world, including one in Sydney, it will whip the veil from its Nehalem range of computer chips, the most powerful it has ever made.”
A Tock Day
Indeed the Intel Xeon 5500 series processors, formerly code named “Nehalem,” are the fastest most powerful microprocessors Intel has ever produced. While they are just be introduced officially today by Intel they were first introduced in Apple’s new Mac Pros on March 3rd, giving the Mac maker a month lead to the market.
Many in the industry are wondering how Apple got a break to use Intel’s fastest processors sooner than the rest of the industry, and Nehalem isn’t the first time this has happened. It is commonly believed that when Steve Jobs brokered a deal with Intel to leave IBM PowerPC chips for x68 Intel processors this exclusive early arrangement was part of the deal.
The global events that took place March 30 and 31 will showcase all the new highend computing gear that will ship with the Xeon 5500 series (Nehalem) processors. Among the gear include Silicon Graphics (SGI) Altix Ice series computers for data-intensive clusters, Cray Cx1 Deskside Supercomputers and numerous workstation and server announcements, including a $40 US DOD award to SGI for new gear.
Next Tick Year
Meanwhile, Intel is working for releasing a Nehalem chip on a smaller 32nm process later this year or early next, with 22nm chips by 2011, 16nm chips by 2013 and 11nm chips by 2015-16.
While Apple may be stuck using the industry standard processor, it appears its choice in Intel has been a good one as the company continues to lead its rivals in performance. And with an assumed back-office deal to get first dibs on Intel’s latest and greatest chips, Mac customers can take pride and joy in knowing they are on the bleeding edge of the technology curve.
At least by a month!
To read the full Australia IT piece go here.