Intel's next-generation microarchitecture has arrived. Officially.
Intel made the debut of the Core i7 processor official on Monday afternoon, launching the processor at an event in San Francisco. PC makers, including Dell and Gateway, quickly followed suit with announcements.
"The Core i7 processor speeds video editing (and) immersive games...by up to 40 percent without increasing power consumption," the Intel said in a statement.
Combining the i7 with super-fast solid state drives will lead to significant jumps in performance, according to Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "When you couple what is Intel's biggest leap in chip design with other incredible innovations like Intel's solid state drives, the Core i7 processor has redefined the computer of tomorrow," he said in a statement.
The i7 also packs a technology called Turbo Boost that accelerates performance to match a computer user's needs and workloads. Through an on-chip power control unit, Turbo Boost automatically adjusts the clock speed of one or more of the four individual processing cores without increasing power consumption, Intel said.
The new chip also has the latest Intel power-saving technologies, allowing desktops to go into sleep states formerly reserved for Intel-based notebooks.
And it ushers in the age of the "monolithic die" for Intel. (AMD has been doing this for over a year now.) The core i7 is one of Intel's first processors to put four cores on one piece of silicon, referred to as a monolithic die. Previous Intel quad-core chips cobbled together two dual-core die.
Other features include QuickPath, which doubles the memory bandwidth of previous Intel "Extreme" platforms, and Hyper-Threading Technology, which allows multiple computing threads to run simultaneously, effectively enabling the chip to do two things at once.
Each Core i7 processor features an 8 MB level 3 cache and three channels of DDR3 1066 memory.
Dell, Gateway, and Alienware (a Dell subsidiary) have all announced systems using the new chip.