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By | Tony Smith 19th August 2008 08:56

Intel adds 22nm octo-core 'Haswell' to CPU design roadmap

tock follows tick follows tock etc.

IDF Intel's 'Tick, Tock' model of chip development is now well established and mapped out through the transition from 45nm to 32nm. Now we know what's happening at the 22nm.

The 22nm era, for Intel, runs through 2011 and 2012. The first of those years will see the arrival of 'Ivy Bridge', the 22nm die-shrink of the brand new, 32nm microarchitecture the chip giant will introduce in 2010, 'Sandy Bridge', the chip formerly codenamed 'Gesher' - the codename changed when the chip company discovered that Gesher is an Israeli political organisation. Whoops.

At some point in 2012 - probably late in the year, if we follow the example of Intel's upcoming tock, the 45nm 'Nehalem' architecture - the chip giant will release 'Haswell', its first native 22nm microarchitecture.

Expect Intel to say more at its bi-annual Developers Forum, due to kick off in San Francisco later today.

As a recap, Intel has already revealed that Nehalem will be followed in 2009 by its 32nm die-shrink, 'Westmere'. Westmere, codename fans, was originally called 'Nehalem-C'.

Back to Haswell, which will apparently be a native octo-core design with a new approach to on-die data and instruction caching. It will also allow for in-package co-processor cores. Programmers, it will add at least one new instruction: FMA, Fused Multiply Add, which allows three values to be added and multiplied in a single operation, for example A = ±B * C ± D.

FMA is part of IEEE 754r, a revised version of the industry standard algorithm for floating-point maths, currently expected to be formalised - it's still in draft form - by the end of the year and long before Haswell ships.

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