I can understand why Intel aren’t following their “dual” and “quad” naming conventions religiously. If they were then this would be a “sex-core” chip. Maybe they’ll switch from Latin to Greek and refer to it as a “hex-core” chip. That might sound a bit pagan though, so they’ll probably just stick with “six”. Opportunity missed.
Anyway, on to the actual story. Intel will be announcing “Dunnington” later this month. Dunny, as we’ll henceforth refer to it as, will have six cores – up 50% on their previous best of four. Dunny will also be the last of their “Penryn” class of chips, and a server version should show up around the 15th September. It’s got a “monolithic” design, meaning that all six cores will be on one bit of silicon, or “die”. Previously Intel have used a different die for each processor in their multi-core chips.
Here’s what Intel had to say on the matter: “Dunnington is the first IA (Intel Architecture) processor with six cores, is based on the 45nm high-k process technology, and has large shared caches.” Thanks, Intel.
Following their Penryn range, the next ridiculous name they’ve picked for their chips is “Nehalem”. I’ve saved you the trouble and done a quick Google search for that, and it turns out that the Nehalem is a tribe of Native Americans, a ship in Freespace 2, and the name of a song by post-grunge band Everclear. I like to think that Intel are big Everclear fans. The Nehalem range will also have a monolithic design, and the first of that range will be the Core i7, showing up late this year.