TPU spreads the word that Intel's flagship Ivy Bridge-E processors will not have more than six cores. This is similar to the Sandy Bridge-E platform, the silicon physically packs eight CPU cores and 20MB L3 cache, but client Core i7 processors are configured with only a maximum of six cores, and up to 15MB L3 cache.
Ivy Bridge-E will be an upscale of Ivy Bridge. Similar to Sandy Bridge-E, the silicon will feature up to eight cores and 20 MB L3 cache. In its Core i7 avatar, however, the chip will be configured with no more than six cores, and no more than 15 MB L3 cache. The new chip will introduce IPC improvements, PCI-Express Gen 3.0 certified root complex (one which NVIDIA will approve of), higher CPU core clock speeds, and support for faster memory.
TDP could be the only reason Intel isn't willing to unlock cores 7 and 8 on client processors. Eight core, 20 MB LLC-laden Xeon E5 models based on today's 32 nm silicon, with 130W TDP, barely manage to scrape the 3.00 GHz mark. Given that, the prospects for Ivy Bridge-E client CPUs to run with all cores and LLC enabled, and yet deliver higher clock speeds than predecessors were always going to be low.
The Intel Ivy Bridge-E processors are anticipated in Q3 2013 and will be compatible with existing LGA2011 motherboard.