Intel made it official Sundayand#8212;the upcoming Nehalem microarchitecture "tock" will retain the successful Core brand with the first Nehalem processors for PCs to be called Core i7, including an "Extreme Edition" chip due out before the end of the year, according to Intel.
Intel's metronomic "tick-tock" technology road map includes die shrinks like last year's move from 65nm to 45nmand#8212;the "tick"and#8212;and major microarchitecture changes, or "tocks," like Nehalem. Intel already stuck with the Core brand once before, when the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant opted to retain the brand name for its Core 2 architecture, the previous "tock" before Nehalem.
Intel Core i7 processors, all of them quad-core devices according to Intel, won't be the only Nehalem products, however.
"This is the first of several new identifiers to come as different products launch over the next year," Intel said in a statement.
Nehalem's changes to the Core 2 microarchitecture include the integration of the memory controller on the die, a key part of Intel rival Advanced Micro Device's architecture for its PC and server processors. Intel calls its integrated memory controller technology QuickPath.
Intel will also offer Hyper Threading with Nehalem, giving each core two threads or eight-thread support overall, as well as a new cache subsystem.
The first Core i7 product is a quad-core Extreme Edition device, the chip maker confirmed without giving more details beyond stating it would be in production "in the fourth quarter of this year" and will carry a black logo.
But several reports state the product in question is a 3.2GHz processor that Intel will sell for $999. Other Core i7 chips reported to be in production by the fourth quarter are 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz products.