A family of 64-bit x86 CPUs with up to eight cores from Intel that were introduced in 2008 as the successor to Core 2. The Core i7 chips were the high-end CPUs in the Core "i" line prior to the i9 in 2017. However, Intel's Xeon chips, which use the same architecture, have more enterprise features (see Xeon
). The first i7 models included a graphics processing unit (GPU) in the same chip package as the CPU; however, 2nd Generation Core models, introduced in 2011, integrated a GPU on the same die as the CPU. See GPU
and Sandy Bridge
Enhanced Memory Control
Supporting three channels of DDR3 memory, the Core i7 contains its own memory controller that runs with a separate clock in the "uncore" area (a part of the chip that is not executing program instructions).
QuickPath and Turbo Boost
A major feature is the QuickPath system interconnect, which is a high-speed, packet-oriented, point-to-point pathway between the CPU cores and memory and between the cores and I/O hub. Depending on the multiprocessor capability supported by the chip model, an integrated crossbar router between the cores may be included.
The i7 line also introduced Turbo Boost, also available in some i5 models, which allows the speed of CPU cores to be adjusted (see Turbo Boost
). See Core i5
and Core i3
A Core i7 Die
This Core i7 CPU has four cores, a memory controller and the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI at bottom left and right) on a single chip (die). (Image courtesy of Intel Corporation.)