intel-tejas-and-jayhawk:-the-story-of-the-abandoned-intel-7-ghz-pentium-5-chips

YouTube channel Fully Buffered revealed a video yesterday discussing the historical past of the deserted Tejas Project by Intel. This venture would have seen two Pentium 5 chips hit the market providing considerably larger clock speeds on a single core — between 7-10 GHz relying on the chip. The venture was shelved as a result of energy consumption and overheating points, and Intel modified the corporate’s focus to multi-core processors.

After 18 years, we discover extra details about Intel’s notorious failure — the Pentium 5 processors

First, let’s look a bit nearer into the 2 chips themselves. Tejas was the codename given to the microprocessor to be the successor to the Pentium 4 processor. Jayhawk was the Xeon variant of the deserted Pentium 5 collection.

Intel’s Core shaped the premise for power-efficient architectures. Netburst, the microarchitecture for the x86 processors, was launched in November 2000. The microarchitecture was seen within the Willamette-core Pentium 4 collection, the primary launch of the newer processors. Netburst was additionally utilized in Pentium D variations till July 2006, when the corporate selected to exchange the microarchitecture with the extra modern Core structure.

In 2003, Intel started work on the Tejas collection, with a launch date the next yr. However, as a result of points with the designs of the chips, Intel was compelled to vary the date to 2005. Unfortunately, the corporate couldn’t obtain its purpose with the Tejas Project and ended the event on May 7, 2004. Outside of warmth and excessive energy consumption inflicting points with the product, there was additionally the problem of sacrificing the processors’ efficiency per clock.

Intel Tejas and Jayhawk: The Story of the deserted Intel 7 GHz Pentium 5 chips

Image source: Jason R. Wilson, Wccftech. All belongings are owned by their important homeowners.

Issues just like this have been seen with the Prescott efficiency and its minor acquire above Northwood. Prescott might get hold of clock speeds over 5 GHz however suffered elevated energy and better temperatures, albeit mildly. Intel’s Tejas was to attain larger clock speeds than Prescott. The firm tried to attain clock speeds reaching a implausible 10 GHz inside ten years (2000 to 2011). However, because the YouTuber factors out, Prescott was a catastrophe.

The Tejas and Jayhawk chips have been to boost and enhance NetBurst, with Tejas being constructed with a 90nm course of. Eventually, the chip needed to scale back from a 90 nm course of to a 65 nm course of. At the time, the collection was to supply a single megabyte of L2 cache. The 65 nm processor doubled the cache measurement of the 90 nm chip, providing 2 MB of L2 cache. A rumored dual-core processor referred to as Cedar Mill by Intel was additionally to be developed however by no means noticed the sunshine of day.

Regarding specs of the Tejas processor, Various retailers reported that early samples despatched to board companions confirmed that the clock reached 2.8 GHz with a TDP of 150W. The unreleased CPU would have match into the LGA 775 socket with a die measurement of 213 mm² — double that of the Prescott chipset. The solely pattern reported earlier than the video from Fully Buffered was from Anandtech, who obtained a mannequin that turned out to be the Prescott BO ES and never the Tejas collection. The solely speculated samples that might have been floating round in fanatic circles would have probably thermal examples of the Tejas line.

Fully Buffered obtained the Tejas and Jayhawk processors from John Culver of CPU Shack (eBay) for an undisclosed quantity. The YouTuber stated the Tejas chip match into an LGA 771 socket, not the reported LGA 775 socket. Intel labeled them with the identify “j-holes.” The date listed on the chips and verified by the RoHS documentation is in the midst of April 2004, which is assumed solely to be a number of weeks earlier than the corporate completely scrapped the road.

Steve Fischer, one of many Intel engineers who labored on the Tejas and Jayhawk processors, gave some perception into among the growth histories and isn’t presently reported wherever however on Fully Buffered’s channel.

The first query centered on Fischer’s involvement with the venture and a few insights into the venture.

Tejas was primarily led and developed by an engineering staff based mostly in Austin, and the Folsom processor growth staff taking part in a big current function. Folsom had extra is and designed for manufacturability experience based mostly on earlier P6 and P4 spinoff product developments, whereas the Austin staff was newer to intel however with some completely different microarchitecture experience introduced in from the surface like former Power PC engineers. I got here into this venture late having spent a few years doing one thing fully completely different at one in every of intel’s acquisitions throughout the .com increase […] after returning to intel I centered on microcode growth. With these efforts are first being utilized on Prescott after which in a while Tejas the most recent and best P4 product. The factor had a pipeline depth of round 50 phases and an anticipated clock goal at one level north of seven GHz.

I name the factor “the Death Star of processors” and half-jokingly reasoned that client acceptance of liquid-cooled chassis wouldn’t be an enormous deal.

By mid-2004, I imagine I’d moved on to guide the microarchitecture actions [at Intel.]…

The quickest Pentium 4 processor on the time supplied 3.8 GHz at 115W TDP, so the Tejas would have supplied on the 7 GHz stage round 250W TDP or larger, which at the moment would have required liquid-cooling to hold warmth ranges low.

Fischer was then requested concerning the venture inside intel, particularly when the microarchitecture was the gateway to the start of the Core structure.

This “multiple team approach” is sort of widespread at intel. It is more healthy and encourages a extra aggressive product. Development on the time, as additionally on many different merchandise, there was loads of debate between which structure course was greatest. Even inside the groups, there’s been loads of debate. Tejas, in a means, was taking the P4 microarchitecture to an excellent additional excessive whereas many believed that this was a lifeless finish as a result of its excessive use of pipelining and the facility implications that got here with it whereas the more moderen development in direction of mobility and decrease energy implied the mirror on course to be the higher alternative.

After Merom staff was displaying very favorable outcomes, and given these doubts, it was determined at a company stage to kill Tejas and double-down on the mirror microarchitecture.

Fully Buffered requested if Fischer might touch upon the legitimacy of the 2 processors bought from Culver off eBay, to which the previous Intel engineer said:

…2004 is the yr during which the venture was cancelled. After having some early silicon outcomes, and I imagine these are in all probability precise silicon. The A4 stepping designation makes that implication as it will be extremely unlikely to have that many revisions for a thermal or mechanical pattern.

On the origin of the names of the 2 processors, Fischer had this to say about their historical past:

I feel it’s named after a park or river in Texas. Not positive about Jayhawk…

One should not put an excessive amount of weight on such venture names as typically it might be merely based mostly on the whims of a extra influential supervisor that additionally passes the approval of the authorized division.

During the interview, Fischer was requested if he believed the processor could be able to working, to which he said that he was not sure however would lean strongly in direction of the processor not working. Fully Buffered tried an older and newer Intel board and did not activate the processor.

Halting a whole venture is a multi-million greenback loss concerning a enterprise’s bills. With Intel, canceling Tejas and Jayhawk had fairly a dramatic impact as their first try at a dual-core processor for the corporate’s Itanium processor that was marketed for enterprise servers and high-performance computing methods. Also, AMD was growing and releasing the corporate’s Athlon 64 processors, which have been a large step for the Intel rival.

The firm instantly switched its focus to the Pentium M microarchitecture, which used among the identical constructing blocks because the P6 structure used of their Centrino notebooks. The microarchitecture was a extra appreciable step for Intel in that it not solely outperformed a number of NetBurst-based designs however, in flip, ushered within the Core processors, resulting in the Core 2 architectures which can be used to today. But even to today, the GHz race is extra alive than ever with each AMD and Intel pushing their newest chips previous the 5.5 GHz barrier and nearer to the 6.0 GHz clock restrict.

News Sources: Fully Buffered, Anandtech