Intel Core i7 is a family of three Intel Desktop x86-64 processors. Core i7 is the first Intel family to be released using the Intel Nehalem microarchitecture and is the successor to the Intel Core 2 family. All three models are quad-core processors. The Core i7 identifier applies to the initial family of processors codenamed Bloomfield.The moniker Core i7 does not have a deeper meaning, but continues the use of the successful Core brand. Intel has to upgrade its processors so that at somepoint vista becomes a superfast OS.
Intel announced that the family is due to be launched on November 17, 2008
Nehalem represents the largest architectural change in the Intel x86 family since the Pentium Pro in 1995. The Nehalem architecture has many new features. The ones that represent significant changes from the Core 2 include:
* FSB is replaced by QuickPath interface. Motherboards must use a chipset that supports QuickPath. As of November 2008[update], only the Intel X58 does this.
* On-processor memory controller: the memory is directly connected to the processor.
* Three channel memory: each channel can support one or two DDR3 DIMMs. Motherboards for Core i7 have four (3+1) or six DIMM slots instead of two or four, and DIMMs should be installed in sets of three, not two.
* Support for DDR3 only.
* "Turbo Boost" technology allows the cores to intelligently "over clock" themselves to 133Mhz or 266Mhz over the design clock speed so long as the CPU's thermal requirements are still met.
* Single-die device: all four cores, the memory controller, and all cache are on a single die.
* Re-implemented Hyper-threading. Each of the four cores can process two threads simultaneously, so the processor appears to the OS as eight CPUs. This feature was present in the older Netburst architecture but was dropped in Core.
* On-die, shared, inclusive 8MB L3 cache.
* Only one QuickPath interface: not intended for multi-processor motherboards.
* 45nm process technology.
* 731M transistors.
* Sophisticated power management can place unused core in a zero-power mode.