Nehalem-EX – The New Standard in Scalable Performance

Today Intel provided a server product update for the upcoming Nehalem-EX processor and the expandable platforms based on it.  Here’s a recap of some of the interesting messages communicated to the press:

  • Nehalem Architecture and Quick Path Architecture are coming to the EX (MP) segment, 4 Socket Servers and above. 
  • EX Servers are ideal for server consolidation / virtualized applications, data demanding enterprise applications and technical computing environments.  Both Itanium and Xeon processors based systems represent an attractive alternative to more expensive, proprietary RISC-processor based systems.
  • EX Servers are designed for the high-end.  They offer more capabilities (i.e. memory, RAS, cores/threads, sockets) than 2 Socket Servers that IT managers require for business drivers such as large scale server consolidation, high data demands, virtualization, and scalability.
  • Up to eight cores / 16 threads and a whopping 24MB of cache.
  • Up to 9x the memory bandwidth vs. today’s 4-Socket Xeon 7400.  The performance will be dramatic – the highest-ever jump from a previous generation processor. 
  • 2x the memory capacity with up to 16 memory slots per socket (that’s 64 DIMMs on a 4 Socket Server), and four high-bandwidth QuickPath Interconnect links.
  • New levels of scalability: from large memory 2 socket systems through 8 socket systems, and even more with OEM node controllers.  Matter of fact, there are over 15 8-Socket+ designs from 8 OEMs currently. 
  • IBM showed their 8S Nehalem-EX server design running 128 threads (8 Sockets x 8 cores x 2 threads due to Hyper Threading)…an industry first. 
  • New RAS features traditionally found on Itanium, such as Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery which detects CPU, memory, and I/O errors, works with the OS to correct, and helps recover from otherwise fatal system errors. 
  • Nehalem-EX is scheduled for production in the second half of 2009, with OEM systems in early 2010.

Stay tuned over the next few days – we’ll post a video from the event.  Also look for some informative blogs over the next 1-2 weeks that will offer more of an in depth view of Nehalem-EX’s 4 Socket capabilities, performance, scalability, RAS, and Virtualization.