Intel Core i7 is an Intel brand name for several families of desktop and laptop 64-bit x86-64 processors using the Nehalem, Westmere, and Sandy Bridge micro architectures. The Core i7 brand is targeted at the business and high-end consumer markets for both desktop and laptop computers, and is distinguished from the Core i3 (entry-level consumer), Core i5 (mainstream consumer) and Xeon (server) brands.
In each of the first three microarchitecture generations of the brand, Core i7 has family members using two distinct system-level architectures, and therefore two distinct sockets. In each generation, the highest-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and QPI-based architecture as the low-end Xeon processors of that generation, while lower-performing Core i7 processors use the same socket and PCIe/DMI/FDI architecture as the Core i5.
"Core i7" is a successor to the Intel Core 2 brand. The Core i7 identifier was first applied to the initial family of processors codenamed Bloomfield introduced in 2008. In 2009 the name was applied to Lynnfield and Clarksfield models. Prior to 2010, all models were quad-core processors. In 2010, the name was applied to dual-core Arrandale models, and the Gulftown Core i7-980X Extreme processor which has six hyperthreaded cores. In January 2011, Intel released a line of Sandy Bridge based chips under the Core i7 brand.
Intel representatives stated that the moniker Core i7 is meant to help consumers decide which processor to purchase as the newer Nehalem-based products are released in the future. The name continues the use of the Intel Core brand. The first Core i7 was officially launched on November 17, 2008.
1 Processor cores
2 See also
4 External links
Processor coresMain articles: Bloomfield (microprocessor), Lynnfield (microprocessor), Clarksfield (microprocessor), Arrandale (microprocessor), Gulftown (microprocessor), and Sandy Bridge
The initial Core i7 processors released were codenamed Bloomfield, branded as Core i7-9xx along with their Xeon 3500-series counterparts. As of 2009, they are Intel's high-end Desktop processors, sharing the Socket 1366 platform with the single and dual-processor server processors.
Lynnfield is the second processor sold under the Core i7 brand, while at the same time being sold as Core i5. Unlike Bloomfield, it does not have a QPI interface but directly connects to a southbridge using a 2.5 GT/s Direct Media Interface and to other devices using PCI Express links in its Socket 1156. Core i7 processors based on Lynnfield have Hyper-Threading, which is disabled in Lynnfield-based Core i5 processors.
Clarksfield is the mobile version of Lynnfield and available under the Core i7 Mobile brand, as part of the Calpella platform. It was released at the Intel Developer Forum on September 23, 2009.
The second mobile Core i7 processor family is Arrandale, sold as the Core i7-6xx processors and featuring an integrated graphics processing unit but only two processor cores, half of Clarksfield. Clarkdale, the desktop version of Arrandale, will not be sold as Core i7, but only as Core i3 and Core i5. All support Intel's Hyper Threading (HT).
Gulftown is the die shrink of the original Core i7, featuring 6 cores, 32 nm process, Hyper-Threading (for a total of 12 logical threads), 12 MB of cache, Turbo Boost and Intel QuickPath connection bus.
Sandy Bridge is the second generation Intel Core i7 series processor, and is based on microarchitecture also named "Sandy Bridge". It was released on January 9, 2011 at the end of CES 2011.