Intel’s Romley platform will be available for LGA-1356 and LGA-2011

Main difference will be memory support and PCI Express lane count

INTELS ROMLEY PLATFORM is set to launch sometime in the second half of this year and it will bring with it a world of confusion in the Xeon market space as Intel will be offering both LGA-1356 and LGA-2011 solutions to its partners. The main difference is that the LGA-1356 platform will support triple channel memory while the LGA-2011 platform will support quad channel memory, but it doesn’t stop there.

The processors for the LGA-1356 platform are known as Sandy Bridge EN while the models for the LGA-2011 socket has the EP suffix and the EN models will inherit the current LGA-1366 platforms triple channel memory support with up to two DIMMs per channel. However, the EP models support quad channel memory with up to three DIMMs per slot and can as such support up to 192GB of RAM using 8GB DIMMs compared to 96GB for the EN models.

Both the EN and EP models support up to eight cores and 16 threads and each core can have as much as 2.5MB of L3 cache. The EN models are set to have a TDP of between 40 and 95W while the EP models start at 50W, but peaks out at the same 95W. The EN models will support up to 24 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth per CPU/socket, while the EP models will support up to 40 lanes per CPU/socket. Both the EN and EP SKUs support an additional four lanes worth of PCI Express 2.0 bandwidth in a dual socket configuration.

We’ve already written about the Patsburg chipset, but we keep seeing support for an ONFi NAND flash memory interface, but so far we’re short on any real details as to whether or not this will really be implemented. Not much has changed from earlier information we’ve seen on the Patsburg chipset. Intel is expecting the overall platform performance to be some 20 percent better than the previous generation, i.e. Nehalem on LGA-1366 which seems like a fairly small step up, although we presume this is on a like for like core count, as Ivy Bridge will be Intel’s first native 8 core CPU. It’s worth remembering that we’ll be seeing a consumer version of this at some stage during the second half of this year as well, although what’ll be interesting to see is how many cores Intel will use for its consumer oriented LGA-2011 platform.S|A

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