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The Register: Intel's Jackson will offer 2 chips for 1 (SMT), Linux change logs reveal

Feb 09, 2001, 21:56 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

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"Intel will be introducing SMT into their Foster chips in the summer, sources close to the project have confirmed to The Register. And with Project Jackson, its codename at Satan Clara [sic], Intel will break with its traditional approach to microprocessor design by introducing SMT, or 'simultaneously multithreading', which presents two "virtual" processors to software application."

"Jackson was first referred to by our very own Mike Magee last September here, in a scoop that mentioned multi-threading capabilities being built into Foster, the first chip to be based on Intel's P7 core that's used in Pentium IV. That slide was made public, and then withdrawn, but shortly before Xmas eagle eyed Ace's Hardware discovered that Linux support for processor was brewing. A to-do entry in Red Hat's Enterprise Change Log read:- " Tue Oct 10 2000 ... Adding support for the second logical processor on each physical processor of a Jackson Technology enabled Willamette CPU still needs to be added [sic]". That link from Ace's has also been pulled, but given the persistent nature of Linux change logs (and Google caches) it led to much informed speculation whether Jackson was really a designs big-bang for Intel, or whether it simply represented a way of speeding-up SMP threads across regular Intel boards."

"Now from sources familiar with Foster documentation we can confirm that the former is indeed true. Although thermally-concerned Intel Veep Pat Gelsinger dropped a heavy clanger on Monday at the IEEE's ISSCC conference, when he suggested ways microprocessor engineers (read: x86 microprocessor engineers) could avoid a thermal meltdown. Credit to Kicking Pat for his "no more business at usual" pitch."

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