Parent: Processor Architectures

Intel and AMD Historical, Pentium 4, AMD Opteron, Dual Core, Pentium M to Core 2, Nehalem, Sandy Bridge to Haswell, Hyper-Threading, SIMD Extensions

Nehalem, Core i3-7, Xeon 5500 etc

The second tock processor, from the Pentium Pro and NetBurst team, has codename Nehalem. The desktop version came out in late 2008 as Core i7, with later Core i5 and i3 versions. In 2-way servers, Nehalem-EP is the Xeon 5500 series (May 2009).

The super-deep pipeline (20-30 stages) and high core speed of Pentium 4 had to be abandoned. The power consumption to performance ratio was too high, and there was too much legacy code that did not benefit proportionately or at all from the deep pipeline. However, other concepts from Pentium 4 were kept, including the trace cache


See the wikipedia page on Nehalem microarchitecture.


Also see Dave Kanter's Real World Tech article Inside Nehalem: Intel's Future Processor and System


In bit-tech Intel Core i7 - Nehalem Architecture Dive - Architecture enhancements, Nehalem is cited as having 20-24 pipeline stages compared to 14 in Core 2.


Below shown approximately to scale are:
Conroe 65nm 4M L2 143mm2 291m transistors,
Penryn 45nm 6M L2 107mm2 420m transistors,
and Nehalem 45nm die 256K L2 per core, 8M L3, 263mm2 731M transistors.

Conroe Penryn Nehalem

Conroe 65nm, Penryn 45nm and Nehalem 45nm

More Nehalem and Lynnfield

Below, the Nehaelm and Lynnfield die are shown with outline of functionality.

Nehalem Lynnfield

Nehalem 45nm, and             Lynnfield 45nm

Lynnfield, or Jasper Forest for embedded, is a Nehalem microarchitecture with 16 PCI-E lanes integrated, and 2 memory channels, but witout QPI.

For some reason, I thought I saw Nehalem-EX die size listed at 540mm2. The Intel press release says the actual size is 684mm2, for which the scaling below is more appropriate. (previously, I had scaling based on 540mm2)

Nehalem Nehalem-EX

Nehalem                 Nehalem-EX (based on 684mm2 die size)


A comparison of quad-core Nehalem 45nm with dual-core Westere 32nm and the six-core Westmere EP(uncertain if this is scaled correctly).

Nehalem Westmere Westmere Westmere
Nehalem,                           Westmere 2 cores, and       Westmere EP six-cores

Westmere-EP six-core die size is 248mm2 and the 2-core Westmere is 81mm2.


Below are Nehalem-EX and Westmere-EX, 513mm2, side by side.

Nehalem-EX Westmere-EX

Nehalem-EX 8-cores, and                             Westmere-EX 10-cores (scale not correct, I will check the scaling later)

Westmere-EX is 513mm2, versus Nehalem-EX 684mm2 .

Anandtech provides recent CPU die size info: Westmere-EX: Intel's Flagship Benchmarked,

Just for kicks, Tukwila 65nm, 699mm2, and Poulson 32nm, 544mm2, again, I will reset the scale later.

tukwila poulson


IBM POWER 6 is 341mm2 and POWER 7 is 567mm2)

tukwila tukwila

Power 6 and Power 7