Future Intel 'Broadwell' chip could pack up to 18 cores

By Shawn Knight
Dec 19, 2013
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  1. Intel is said to be working on a Broadwell chip that will pack a whopping 18 processing cores. The chip, which would feature the highest core count to date, won’t arrive until sometime in 2015 according to a report from VR-Zone.

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  2. inventix1136

    inventix1136 Newcomer, in training Posts: 85   +14

    Writing applications that take advantage of multiple cores is amazingly difficult and even if you write the application as multi-threaded, the most cores used is three or four. I don't know of too many applications that would take advantage of anything more than four cores...
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,086   +154

    Don't think single application...

    Should add, Broadwell can't come quick enough for me!
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Which do you think needs to come first, an 18 core CPU or applications that will take advantage of 18 cores? I'm pretty sure applications will never exist until there is physical hardware to support them. Even then most applications won't support 18 cores, until 18 core CPU's become the norm.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  5. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TechSpot Booster Posts: 241   +43

    5 years ago having a Core 2 Duo was enough, soon it wasn't. Today I have a 4th Gen Core i5 and when playing online I can't avoid noticing some lag due to the 100% load to the CPU by having only the game, one site loaded in the browser and Skype opened at once. If I close the browser and Skype I don't have a single noticed frame drop online, it's not a bottleneck with the graphics or RAM (I have a GTX 670 and 16GB of RAM) simply the game is taxing a 100% load to the CPU, if a program uses only 10% of CPU while playing... it gets noticed.

    Shortly: bring it on, fast is never enough.
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,705   +590

    18 cores are for Xeon (Broadwell-EP/-EX). In an (enterprise) industry where some off the shelf software is licenced on a "per core" basis, and the bulk of the remaining software is custom code, you can guarantee that there will be pretty good core utilization.

    As far as I'm aware, Broadwell-D (mainstream desktop) is likely to be quad core.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,098   +1,189

    It is about time for a bump to 6 core though, in my opinion.
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,705   +590

    Intel seem intent on lowering power consumption-and leveraging a higher proportion for graphics use- over increased core count for the mainstream (which also double for mobile and embedded markets). From what I've heard, Broadwell-D will be ~55W TDP. High end desktop/Xeon have less constraints with power (no iGP, users valuing throughput over energy use) so the march in core count continues. Haswell-E looks to retain the 8 core/16 thread count of Ivy-E ( 3GHz from an early 8-core engineering sample looks promising).
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Addict Posts: 775   +155

    I always thought a CPU with 10 Cores all at 10Ghz would be truly revolutionary but it seems they stopped trying to find ways to improve Ghz :/ shame...
  10. technogiant

    technogiant TechSpot Member Posts: 30   +14

    Well AMD's Mantle seems to like as many physical cores as it can get.....so if that takes off then there could could be a big desktop market for MOAR CORES.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,705   +590

    Outright clock speed generally requires a deeper architectural pipeline which is usually detrimental to overall performance (or results in a larger cache requirement in terms of cohesiveness and die real estate) and increases in power and heat. Shorter and more numerous pipelines mean less misprediction- so while the clockspeed is lower, the actual processor becomes more efficient.

    For a quantum leap in performance you also need a major shift in design materials - such as that evidenced by the transition from aluminium to copper interconnects in early processors. Maybe the switch to more exotic metals compounds (I.e. Indium and Gallium based) offers a leap in relative performance, but the focus of modern processors is performance per watt and maximizing the instructions per cycle rather than straight line speed which can be detrimental in any case due to branch prediction misses.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,252   +531

  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,252   +531

    Case in point was Intel's Pentium 4 processor.
     
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,705   +590

    Yup. NetBurst is the less than shining example.
  15. soulsassassin

    soulsassassin Newcomer, in training

    they gave up on that long time ago higher frequency means more power consumption and more heat
  16. When you go online you probably loading malware or botnets more then your stupid game. Hahaha. Welcome to my world zombie!
  17. All very nice Intel but what about the CHEAP thermal paste being used on Haswell now? For the prices on these high end CPU chips do you think we could get a drop of solder on them to deal with the furnace temps?
  18. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Addict Posts: 775   +155

    Wouldn't more Ghz be more beneficial than cores? I am just thinking wouldnt a 10Ghz 4core cpu beat a 4Ghz 10core cpu in rendering and other real world applications?
  19. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,705   +590

    Depends upon how the application were coded, but assuming that the core usage were fully optimized, then generally no. Basically, the faster you go the more errors creep in, and the more errors (branch prediction misses) the more idle cycles are introduced as the cache hierarchy attempts to resolve the issues.
    A simple example would be that performance doesn't scale with overclock. If you overclock a CPU by 50%, you generally don't increase it's performance by the same margin- and as the speed increases the margin becomes smaller because of inefficiencies in the hardware (power requirement, heat build up and dissipation, cache latency) and external restrictions such as memory bandwidth.


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