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Intel Hardware Technology

Intel Begins Shipping 64-bit Prescotts 411

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the unheralded-releases dept.
Rucas writes "With a minimum of fanfare, Intel has begun shipping a version of the Pentium 4 with 64-bit instruction set extensions. The news came to light not via an Intel press release, but rather through the spec sheet for a new server from IBM. In the midst of the new IBM eServer xSeries servers based on the recently released 64-bit Xeon is a blade server powered by the 64-bit Prescott. This marks the first product appearance of the new CPU."
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Intel Begins Shipping 64-bit Prescotts

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  • Now it's Intel running behind AMD :)
  • Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:51PM (#9896185) Journal
    Intel has been, in reality, behind AMD for at least two years. Now it just gets confirmed.

    Bang for the buck means AMD wins hands down.
    • Re:Figures (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cmdrxizor (776632)
      Which makes it even more surprising that Intel wasn't really hyping this themselves. You'd think they would want every reason to get people to switch back to them for high-end tasks where 64 bits could be useful.
      • Wintel (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gilesjuk (604902)
        They're not hyping it since their pal Microsoft has delayed 64-bit Windows. Intel probably doesn't want to put pressure on Microsoft since Microsoft might favour AMD more.

        Intel have already lost out on providing XBox2 with a CPU.
    • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AstroDrabb (534369) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:21PM (#9896375)
      AMD has been kicking Intel's butt value/speed wise, but not in the corporate world. I have worked at three fortune 500 companies, and _all_ desktops and servers are Intel running Linux or Windows with some Sparc boxes. I did not see _one_ AMD box. It seems Intel has built a killer name in the corporate space and AMD has not made a dent in that. My last three home boxes have been AMD and they have all run great. I wonder why the corporate take-up of AMD has been so slow?
      • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jusdisgi (617863) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:56PM (#9896590)
        I agree wholeheartedly. With one qualification...high performance computing users. Like the guys running clusters for movie rendering, or drug research, and stuff like that. And opterons are starting to get some penetration.

        However, the central insight is exactly correct; overcoming the brand takes much more time than overcoming the product.
        • Re:Figures (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mOdQuArK! (87332)
          overcoming the brand takes much more time than overcoming the product.

          OTOH, that inertia bites both ways. Once the brand has been overcome, it's a bitch to get past the "has-been" reputation.

          Witness the progression from "you can never going wrong buying IBM", to quite a few years of criticising IBM engineering/marketing decisions (Big Iron! MCA bus!), and now they're slowly creeping back as purveyors of open standard equipment.

      • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MikeCapone (693319) <skelterhell AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday August 06, 2004 @12:38AM (#9896795) Homepage Journal
        I wonder why the corporate take-up of AMD has been so slow?

        As with microsoft, a lot of it has to do with politics, arm-twisting and inertia.

        Also, people like to pay more to get the same (or inferior) thing because, of course, in the corporate mind paying more = better product.
        • Re:Figures (Score:4, Insightful)

          by RogerWilco (99615) on Friday August 06, 2004 @06:08AM (#9897675) Homepage Journal
          Defensive choices. They know they'll never get fired for going the Intel - Microsoft route, they might get fired if they choose something else, and it doesn't work.
      • by Chordonblue (585047) on Friday August 06, 2004 @02:54AM (#9897222) Journal
        I ran into a similar issue dealing with some local banking institutions years ago. EVERY bank in this area was hooked on Token Ring. Now this was understandable from the perspective that Token Ring was arguably better than most older forms of networking, but this was 1997. New installations were still getting 16 Mbit Token installed. In some case we saw twisted pair installations, but they were still running 16 Mbit Token! What the hell? Ethernet over twisted pair was so much cheaper, faster, AND established.

        Then I started noticing that EVERYTHING was IBM. The servers, the workstations, even the CABLING. I saw this at every bank we did work for (at least 8 different organizations).

        So if it wasn't for the quality, expense, and/or speed, what was it? I later learned that this was a common theme in many larger organizations and it had a lot to do with how much IT stock was owned by the execs.

        A friend of mine - a CIO - relayed to me that when a large organization buys a ton of equipment from IBM, the resulting sales figures usually give a bounce to the stock. Better still, if you coordinate your efforts with other execs in other companies, you can often make yourself a tidy profit.

        During my time consulting for these banks, management did not want to hear about any other solution that wasn't IBM. I suspect that most Fortune 500 companies play a similar game with Dell product - and that would certainly help explain Intel's entrenchment.

      • Re:Figures (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ostiguy (63618)
        One thing I have noticed is that ibm and hp have 1 opteron cpu boxes with no redundant power supplies, and then 4 cpu boxes with 32 ram slots, 2 PSUs that cost 12k without ram or HDD. Neither of them is selling a fairly normal dual cpu box that is 2U high - they are either web servers or computational nodes for clusters, or big honking 4 way boxes.

        ostiguy
    • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrm677 (456727) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:55PM (#9896584)
      Intel has been, in reality, behind AMD for at least two years. Now it just gets confirmed.

      Intel has been publishing some phenemonal research on new processor architectures recently. For example, "Continual Flow Pipelines" appearing in ASPLOS of this year [toronto.edu] shows some awesome potential. It is a novel new technique for a superscaler out-of-order processor that does not use things like reorder buffers which don't scale well with instruction window size. Surely Intel has patented this technique before publishing in an academic conference.

      Intel will catch up rather quickly.
      • Re:Figures (Score:5, Insightful)

        by leereyno (32197) on Friday August 06, 2004 @02:56AM (#9897228) Homepage Journal
        Academic research only impresses those who have never worked in academia. This research MAY pan out in 3 or 4 years, or even later, but that is an epoch in terms of computer hardware. In the mean-time AMD is eating Intel's lunch.

        Normally Intel would have sand-bagged on their R&D and be able to respond quickly, but because of the catastrophe that is the Itanium they're stuck. Intel poured so much money and R&D brainpower into the Itanium that when it bombed they didn't have anything else to show.

        Intel basically tried to pull a PS/2 with the Itanium. They wanted an architecture that they had exclusive control over and that they could charge up the ass for. Such schemes can be successful at times, but when they fail the consequences are devastating, which is exactly what we're seeing right now.

        Add to that the recent string of catastrophes in the P4 arena that has actually led Intel to drop a core revision in favor of a modified P-III that was originally desiged for laptops, and you've got a recipe for a total cluster-fuck.

        Intel is not out of the game yet, but they're hurting bad and it is going to take a LOT more than a bunch of journal articles to get them out of the hole.

        Lee
    • only in the CPU department. I lust after intel because I feel happy with intel's chipset choices. A CPU alone doesn't make a computer...
    • Re:Figures (Score:3, Informative)

      by Megor1 (621918)
      It seems cpu speeds havent been going up all that fast recently, in August of 2002 we had the 2.8ghz P4, now it's two years later and the fastest p4 is only 3.4 ghz...

      At least with AMD we can say they moved to 64 bit, Intel hasnt really done anything.
  • plagiarism (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    more like arstechnica.com writes....
  • Original Article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:53PM (#9896196)
    A link to the original on Ars might've been nice:

    http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040804-4070.ht ml [arstechnica.com]
    • Damn straight. How lame is it to submit a cut-and-paste paragraph, while changing the links so there's only one eetimes link and no arstechnica links? Not to mention not giving credit for where the cut-and-paste came from.

      Cheers
      -b

  • by eltoyoboyo (750015) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:53PM (#9896200) Journal
    "Intel president Paul Otellini said that Intel was building the capability for its 64-bit extensions into Prescott. At the time, he said that Intel wouldn't enable the feature until Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows; that operating system is expected later this year. "

    Does this mean that we will have disabled and enabled versions? Like the old 486SX and DX (SX I understood was a disabled/failed math co-processor). I suppose like all their other chip lines, each will be labled distinctly with some marketing nomenclature.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Like the old 486SX and DX (SX I understood was a disabled/failed math co-processor
      The full details of that:

      486SX - a 486DX with its FPU disabled.

      486DX - 486SX with a working FPU.

      487 - 486DX with a slightly different pinout for use in 486SX systems and sold as a "math-coprocessor;" actually, it would disable the 486SX and be used exclusively!

      Source [ic.ac.uk].
    • It's entirely possible that things have changed since the version that had it disabled. While your 486 analagy makes sense (and they probably will do that with some chips that fail the 64 bit tests), it's possible there have been other changes. Inten could have added instructions since the eariler chips that had it disabled, or bugs could have been found that mean the chip wouldn't run correctly if the extra circuits were enabled.

      My guess is that it would work, but they've been fine-tuning it the whole tim

    • by Anonymous Coward
      486SX wasn't failed, they actually cut the traces to the FPU. Other than that the chip layout was identical.

      Later SXs may have omitted the FPU completely but given that the SX was what amounted to a "loss leader" for Intel, intended to hold back AMD & Cyrix from the gates, they never spent a whole lot of time engineering the thing.

      The real fun was when Intel sold a "FPU upgrade" for some 486SX systems. The "FPU Upgrade" was nothing more than a rebadged 486DX chip that mounted in a socket close to the
  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:56PM (#9896220)
    The low profile introduction can be explained by the official designation for the new instruction set features: they will be known as the IA32-NIH extensions.
  • ...had a post with a link to the Dell site which was selling the Pentium 4 and Xeons, both with available x86-64 compatibility and ready to order now.

    Supposedly Intel released the chips in June too.
  • Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Castaa (458419) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:56PM (#9896224) Homepage Journal
    It's pretty astounding that major jump from 32-bit to 64-bit processing isn't even mentioned by Intel.

    Think about how big a jump it was from the i286 to i386 (16-bit to 32-bit.) That release was a major deal for Intel.
    • As the #1 volume desktop operating system doesn't support it yet, why?

      IIRC, nobody cared about 32 bit until Windows 95 came around, and even that was a hack. I don't rememer intel hawking 32 bit for 386s so much.

      For a company whose main business is to businesses and retail, who in turn primarily use an OS with no x86-64 compatible variant, it is pointless. Thus why this is being promoted to the workstation and server market.

      AMD's rare Athlon 64 ads seem to pay lip service to this missing OS issue. Giv
    • by Ayanami Rei (621112) * <rayanami@gmai l . c om> on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:25PM (#9896399) Journal
      1) "Not invented here". Actually, Intel does have a 64-bit platform, it's called the Itanium. They don't want to detract from their own product line by hyping this. They're marketing it like a way to extend your RAM and a way to get compatibility with those newfangled versions of NT that were once the province of AMD beta testers.

      2) The 64-bit instructions are reportedly emulated and are not as fast as the AMD equivalent. Therefore they will make x86_64-specific optimizations seem slow. They'd rather you use it for the 40-bit pointers, but to keep the word sizes 32-bit and not to use those extended registers.

      It's a half-hearted effort to get the compatilibity where it matters (OS, database) while exploiting the fact that most of the code is still x86_32 with a sprinkle of performance-critical SSE* and that runs fine on Nocona.
  • by vincecate (741268) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:00PM (#9896241) Journal
    There are benchmarks from anadtech.com [anandtech.com] and xbitlabs.com [xbitlabs.com] that show AMD64 chips have higher performance on 64-bit code. Since there are more registers in 64-bit mode, it seems very reasonable for it to run 64-bit code faster. However, both theinquirer.net [theinquirer.net] and infoworld.com [infoworld.com] claim that the 64-bit performance of Xeon-Nocona is no higher than its 32-bit performance. At first this seems unreasonable, since it will also have the additional registers that helped AMD. However, some of the 64-bit instructions can be longer [x86-64.org], so relying on a big cache may not work as well and high memory bandwidth may be more important. So it could well be that AMD's chips are better suited for 64-bit code.

    Though Xeon-Nocona has been available for more than a month [intel.com] it seems there there are no substantial reports on 64-bit performance of Nocona. Is there anyone here who can report anything about the 64-bit performance of Nocona?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The cited EEtimes article has the information totally incorrect on the CPU.

      The processor is not in-fact a Prescott. IBM Blades infact use Prestonias today. Prestonia are 400/533MHz FSB Xeon processors. These processors have in reality been shipping for over two years. These are also dual CPU blades (can we expect to see EM64T enabled 4-way Foster CPUs?).

      This is much more interesting than Noconas and Prescotts having EM64T technology, as it shows that the technology is being retrofitted into older curr
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:00PM (#9896243)
    Ok, so Win XP 64-bit is in beta. Great! But where's everything else?

    At what point are people actually going to start making 64 bit applications? I'm not talking 64 bit linux or anything like that, I'm talking consumer level apps and games.

    I see a lot of people upgrading to 64 bit chips, but what good does it do if there's nothing to utilize them? Is it just for bragging rights or what?

    I'm a programmer and I have yet to see a need to get a 64 bit chip.
    • by Christopher Thomas (11717) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:10PM (#9896309)
      At what point are people actually going to start making 64 bit applications? I'm not talking 64 bit linux or anything like that, I'm talking consumer level apps and games.

      Among other things, it should let the OS map more than a few gigabytes of memory into the address space at one time. A 32-bit application will only be able to see 4 gigabytes (or 2, or whatever the limit ends up being after tag bits and OS space are reserved), but the total amount in use can be more, without an application rewrite needed. This is already done to some extent (my understanding is that the 32-bit processors have 36 bits of address space in total, with a 32-bit per process maximum), but moving to 64 bits gives a lot more headroom.

      I see a lot of people upgrading to 64 bit chips, but what good does it do if there's nothing to utilize them? Is it just for bragging rights or what?

      I'm a programmer and I have yet to see a need to get a 64 bit chip.


      It's handy to have native handling of things like 64-bit integers, but addressable memory space is the most pressing reason right now. You'll be able to mmap() a file larger than 2 gigabytes on x86-64 machines (where up to now you had to use a non-x86 platform). You'll be able to hold more than 2 gigabytes of working data in RAM, which is significant if you're doing video editing (or heavy rendering or really heavy image processing).

      Consumer apps and games will move into this niche in a few years (there are algorithms that let you trade off memory footprint and speed, and memory is cheap). But there are several places where the ability to address more memory is important _now_, even for user workstations.
    • Actually, 64 bit processors have been available for years already: Alpha, Spark, MIPS...

      and to answer your question, GCC handles them OK.

      Intel is not the leading processor developer - they are the leading CONSUMER grade processor manufacturer. There are other bottom feaders below them too, eg. VIA.

  • by btsdev (695138)
    You know, I'm starting to feel sorry for Intel; they've had a terribly rough year with no performance gains (while AMD has run past them) and failures with the Prescott (overheating, big time). As we've seen on slashdot, they've recently released their roadmap for the next year and we don't even see speed improvements coming then. Well anyway, about the 64-Prescott. This seems like a very desperate move from Intel in the midst of all their problems -- they've had no official release for this new technolo
  • by BigAl_nz (39616) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:02PM (#9896252)
    Where could I have seen it before [arstechnica.com].
  • Quick! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stevyn (691306) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:04PM (#9896264)
    I need to know what proper cflags I should use.

    Anyway

    I'm still unconvinced about 64-bit computing for the present. I think most businesses will wait a long while before making upgrades based on this. One obvious reason is that software is compiled for 32-bit processors, but how much faster is say Gentoo compiled for a 64-bit AMD processor?

    A lot of people's arguments defending 64-bit computing is that no software is designed for it. I'm sure I'm completely ignorant on this, but how well does gcc take advantage of it if I were to compile programs to make use of it?
    • Re:Quick! (Score:4, Informative)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:32PM (#9896457) Homepage
      While the 64-bit part may not seem to make that much of a difference, the other parts of the architecutre (like the 20+ extra general purpose registers) can make a large difference in some programs. As compilers get better, so will the performance of 64-bit code.

      There are also the "intangibles". For example right now software can only use about 3 gigs of memory without hacks (PAE and such). This is because there is only 4 gigs of address space and the OS and libraries must be in there somewhere, so most OSes give the OS 1 or 2 gigs of that address space. And you must map a library into each program's view of the address space, possibly into different areas. With a 64-bit address space, you could give a full 4 gigs to tons of programs, all while having lots of libraries loaded and have a simple linear addressing space for everyone. This simplifies things quite a bit. And when you need to use more than 4 gigs of data, you'll be able to without any performance hit.

      The biggest difference you'll see are the registers. While it won't help you type faster into a word processor, it could very well help a game out.

      • While the 64-bit part may not seem to make that much of a difference, the other parts of the architecutre (like the 20+ extra general purpose registers) can make a large difference in some programs.

        Yup. Here's 3 reasons to get an AMD64 chip.

        1. On-Die memory controller.
        2. HyperTransport.
        3. SSE2

        Obviously the P4 and Prescott both have SSE2, but no other AMD chip does... and some programs (ahem, Premiere) require SSE2. And neither the P4 or Prescott (or Athlon XP) have #1 or #2.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:04PM (#9896269) Homepage
    Even if the two chips performed identically in how fast they executed instructions, ran the same clockspeed, etc... AMD still has the edge.

    Because the Opteron has an on-die memory controller. That can boost things up to 20% in some cases. It also makes designing motherboards easier because you don't need both a north and southbridge. It makes it harder to upgrade to a new memory technology, but it can be disabled allowing you to do that (I think). If they switched to that buffered "FB-RAM" or whatever (there was an article on the idea a while back on a big hardware site) that would fix that.

    But anyway, Intel is stuck in a hard place. Because of the memory controller, their chips perform slower because of the extra latency, so they must ratchet up clockspeeds. The solution? An on-die memory controller. So why don't they do it? They CAN'T.

    Intel has been pushing BTX for a variety of reasons (although most people blame Prescott's heat for it). But the way BTX is designed Opteron boards can't be made into a BTX form-factor because the memory is too far away from the CPU (there is too much electrical noise, IIRC). This means that Intel can't switch to an on-die controller without either changing BTX (what I think will happen because of AMD), or finding a way around the noise problem (little faraday cages?).

    If you add in things like that the Intel chip only supports 36-bit address (I believe) while the Opteron handles 64-bit addresses (the actual bus is smaller right now, but that could easily be changed) and other performance factors (the top P4EE is outperformed in Doom 3 by a chip that costs more than $800 less, see the Inquirer) and Intel is in hot water.

    All of this should be interesting to see what happens. Intel seems to be in trouble (performance wise, at least in the short term).

    • FB-DIMMs can be farther away from the memory controller, so an Intel chip with a built-in FB-DIMM memory controller would probably work fine in a BTX case.

      And everyone who can afford 2^36 bytes of RAM, raise your hand...
    • Um, Intel is quite capable of on board memory controllers.

      They did it many years ago as part of the ill-fated "Timna" project, which integrated a rambus memory controller on the processor. It was a cool and pretty performance oriented design, however it was intended for the value segment of the market -- and it was using a memory that was far more costly than SDRAM, so Intel killed it.

      Whatever their reasons, the memory controller isn't on their current processors because it was design choice, not due to l
  • Go Intel! only 7.5 months behind Apple [apple.com] and IBM [ibm.com] who collaborated to put out a nice 64 bit solution in August of '03.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:12PM (#9896320) Homepage Journal
    "AMD welcomes Intel to the world of AMD64 [com.com], said Ben Williams, director of server and workstation marketing at AMD.

    It's kind of funny to watch. Intel is choosing their words very carefully. They're saying things like, the new chip "will run programs currently being developed for AMD's 64-bit processors with very little modification." They absolutely refuse to call the new chip "AMD compatible" even though that's exactly what it is. Intel is having a lot of trouble facing the facts: they poured zillions of dollars and years of R&D into an architecture that nobody wants (Itanium), meanwhile AMD got it right (Opteron) and now they're playing catch-up.

    You'd think that Intel, moreso than anyone else, would know that you just can't kill x86.
    • I have not confirmed it but I've read reports that Intel did supposedly ask around if anyone was interested in an x86 chip that could do 64 bit addressing when developing the P6.

      The Itanium series does have a few high-availability features nonexistent in Xeon or Opteron, and is a heavy-iron type chip. Unfortunately, the market for those are slim at best compared to the desktop and small server market. It doesn't help that there is something of a backlash against high-watt computers, for example, a lot of
    • Intel is having a lot of trouble facing the facts

      No, I'm sure that internally at least they know only too well that they stuffed up big time. That's got nothing to do with not calling these chips "AMD compatible". They don't want to do that because in the public's eye, that would make AMD chips the real deal, and Intel's ones a copy. If they're the same speed (all most people care about) and about the same price, then people will buy the "genuine" ones, not the Intel "copies".

      It's marketing, pure and sim
  • According to the article,
    At the time, he said that Intel wouldn't enable the feature until Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows; that operating system is expected later this year.

    But according to Computer World,
    Microsoft Corp. has further delayed versions of Windows for PCs and servers equipped with x86 processors with 64-bit extensions. Analysts said the extra delay will slow the advent of 64-bit desktop computing and provide a head start for rival operating systems on servers.

    Windows S

  • by Coventry (3779) * on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:17PM (#9896349) Journal
    It has been revealed that these 64 bit intel chips are not able to address as much memory as AMD 64 bit chips. Specificaly, whereas the Opteron/Althon64 has a 40 bit physical and 48bit virtual address space (not the same as virtual mem, remember that AMD chips each have a memory controler, thus upto 256 Banks of memory, via 256 processors), these intel chips are limited to 36 bits.

    Thats right, the same 36 bits that intel has supported via PXE for years...

    Thus, total system memory size for these processors is limited to 64GB, meanwhile the per-processor limit for AMD chips is 1TB, 256TB total in a system (max 256 CPUs, if anyone ever makes a board and Hypertransport bridges capable of supporting such a large number of chips).

    Anyway, it is a big difference, and it hints that the actual implementation may be the same old slow PXE implementation intel has had for years (since the pentium pro, if I remember correctly).

    ------------ This post was made while on percocet and no spell checking has been done. deal.
    • I know it's the percocet talking, but I think you mean PAE [thefreedictionary.com] not PXE [pxe.ca]...

      Apart from that - absolutely correct.

      • by Stormie (708) on Friday August 06, 2004 @02:23AM (#9897145) Homepage

        Please do not post links to thefreedictionary.com - they are a dodgy site which repackages Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] content, with ads, for profit, whilst stretching the GFDL [wikipedia.org] as far as they possibly can.

        Look at that link you posted - you'll see a credit to Wikipedia at the bottom. Now disable javascript in your browser and refresh - ooh, the credit is gone! They insert it in with javascript rather than putting it in the body of the page to ensure that Google doesn't pick it up. Why? Because a link to Wikipedia's article would help lift Wikipedia's pagerank above that of thefreedictionary.com.

        Just say no, and if you want to read about PAE, read the original [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia article.

    • by KidSock (150684) on Friday August 06, 2004 @05:04AM (#9897547)
      Thus, total system memory size for these processors is limited to 64GB

      Oh, no! Does that mean I can't run Longhorn?!
  • If I were Intel I would be pretty quiet about it as well. How well can one or two of these stack up against a uni or dual Opteron? Sure they have the contiguous memory support (36 bits of it IIRC) but they are lacking the NUMA style Hypertransport interconnects and the on die memory controller.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:27PM (#9896424)
    They should have gone for 65bit chips.

    Who wouldn't want a chip that's one better than the competition?
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @11:54PM (#9896576)
    This slashdot story (and the Ars story [arstechnica.com] it ripped off) seem to say that only servers are getting the new 64-bit Pentium 4 Prescotts now. That is false. In case you missed it, Dell is now shipping the Dell Precision 370 workstation [dell.com] with 64-bit Pentium 4 (EM64T) at 3.2GHz, 3.4GHz, and 3.6GHz.

    Also, Anandtech just posted a new roadmap [anandtech.com] with some info on upcoming 64-bit Pentium 4 CPU/chipsets for the desktop. The Intel 925XE chipset (with 1066MHz FSB) will ship in October along with 64-bit Pentium 4 "F" processors. "F" supposedly means it's a 64-bit Prescott.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday August 06, 2004 @12:54AM (#9896872) Journal
    Is it another 80x860?

    I am bringing this up because Intel refused for a long time to bring in a 64-bit x86 due to invement with HP for Itanium. It seems so odd that we have a chip based on 1970's technology.

    Itanium was supposed to be surpacing x86 by now like NT replaced win95 derivitives. Intel has a notion of sunkin costs while HP would rather beat a dead horse than admit it failed after billions of billions of dollars of development. I guess its the culture of zero accountability and perfection with no room for mistakes that Fiona implemented.

    x86 just wont die.

    I would prefer to see the Alpha as an eventual replacement for the aging x86 and its a shame it was bought up just to boast the Itanium.

    Well long live the Pentium 64-bit and forever x86.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Friday August 06, 2004 @01:13AM (#9896934) Homepage
    As EE Times Reports: [eetimes.com]
    Prescott is also Intel's first processor to support a security technology code-named Le Grande. While Intel has not yet detailed the technology, it is believed to provide a protected space in main memory for a secure execution mode required as part of Palladium, a new PC security scheme being developed by Microsoft Corp.

    Le Grande is Intel's codename for Trusted Computing. HP's codename is ProtectTools, Cisco's codename appears to be either NetworkAdmissionControl or SelfDefendingNetwork, Phoenix BIOS code name is CoreManagedEnvironment, and of course we all know Microsoft's codename was Palladium and now is NaGSCaB and is slated to appear in Longhorn.

    If you scroll down near the bottom of this page [chip-architect.com] you can catch a look at a micrograph of the Prescott from about a year ago. Note that the Trusted Computing core is it's own an entire CPU and memory and support structures, and eats up about 20% of the chip. In other words Trusted Computing core ties up around 25 million transistors of real-estate, or about half of a Pentium 4.

    It will support encrypted code (to secure it against you, the owner), it will encrypt RAM access (again, secure against you) and take over a portion of your cache. It will carry a unique key to identify you and your machine, but far more powerful than the old CPU serial numbers. It will forbid you to know your own encryption keys and prohibit you from decrypting your own data. I know it's designed to work with a "secure clock" (wouldn't want you the owner to be able to "tamper" with the time, now would they?), but I'm not sure if the secure clock is inside the CPU or planned to be external.

    AMD has their own Trusted Computing project, but I have been having trouble digging out any hard info. It *may* be incorporated into the Opteron processor.

    Transmeta has a trusted Computing project too, the TSX system - Transmeta Security eXtensions. I beleive initially appearing in the Caruso5800.

    Welcome to tomorrow. Resistance is futile, all your base already belong to us, Slavery is Freedom, and always remember The Computer Is Your Friend.

    -
  • by 12x12 (625143) on Friday August 06, 2004 @04:50AM (#9897523)
    For us in .uk a "Prescott" is a byword for a bumbling buffoon.
    Characterised by:
    1). Rambling incoherent communications.
    2). A violent temper which could blow at any time.
    3). A tendancy to do a rapid about about-face whenever challenged by the realities of hard work.

    Do we really need a chip like this?

    Note: For those not in .uk you should not that Prescott is our Deputy Prime Minister.

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