Intel has officially launched the Core i7 processor, formerly codenamed Nehalem, which it claims is the fastest on the planet.
At the launch in San Francisco Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president of Intel's Digital Entertainment group, showed off the new 45nm processor which is available today for gaming systems.
"This is the fastest processor on the planet," he said. "We are passing a threshold for killer new apps."
The quad-core processor has 731 million transistors and is built to handle single, double and quadruple threaded applications.
Gelsinger said that power management has been built in so that for single or double threaded software two cores will shut down while the others overclock, or turboboost themselves, to handle the workload.
So far the processor has broken all speed records, according to the company, and will open the door to new applications that would previously been hampered by poor performance.
Intel demonstrated the chip with language translation systems specialist CTD Systems. "With over 25,000 word stems Turkish poses particular challenges to language recognition," said Cetin Cetinturk, chief executive of CTD Systems.
"Core i7 is a step towards getting recognition. In the near future we will be very close to human language recognition abilities."
Three versions are available: the i7-965 extreme edition (3.2GHz) at $999; the 940 (2.9GHz) at $562; and the 920 (2.66GHz) at $284. Server chips and client systems will be launched in the next 12 months.
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