De mannen van iXBT-Labs hebben een preview gepost van de Intel Willamette processor, de opvolger van de P3 die later dit jaar op 1.3GHz zal debuteren. Hieronder vast een gedeelte uit het stukkie, volg deze link voor meer info.
Since the performance of the today's CPUs and memory subsystem keeps growing higher and higher, the fact that GTL+ system bus has got only 33MHz faster is not that impressive, actually. Besides, there has appeared a new platform - IA64. All in all, with its Willamette Intel is introducing a new system bus, which is expected not only to increase the general bandwidth (100MHz clock frequency is even lower than that of the today's GTL+ - 133MHz, however, transferring 4 packs per clock makes the resulting frequency equal to 400MHz). It should also turn a link between IA32 and IA64: after Tehama (a chipset for Willamette), it will be used for i870, intended for both - IA32 Foster and IA64 McKinley.
So, these are the main advantages of the new bus: a significantly higher bandwidth - 3.2GB/sec (400MHz, 64bit) against 1,064GB/sec (400MHz, 64bit) of the today's 133MHz GTL+ (3.2GB/sec is exactly the level, which can be provided by a dual-pipeline RDRAM supported by Tehama) and, of course, a rather promising future.
As for the disadvantages, here you are. 4 data packs per clock is, certainly, a cool thing, but only if they are ready by the time a new clock begins. Otherwise, the bus bandwidth won't be utilized to the full extent. Frankly speaking, 3.2GB/sec will be achieved only in the most ideal situation. The second disappointment is connected with the today's mainboards, which in no way suit for Willamette. And it is not only a new system bus, which is to blame here. A new form-factor - Socket-462, this is the reason. This means that we will get an absolutely new platform, which cannot be cured with any converters.