Westmere Processor

What is Westmere Processor?

The term Westmere refers to the processor and System on a Chip (SoC) that is built typically on a 32 nm process and characteristically comes with 2nd generation high-K metal gate transistors.

The Westmere architecture is mainly designed for desktop and server processors. Technically, in this specific architecture, the processors experienced a die-shrink and high-K-layer shrink with respect to the earlier 45 nm manufacturing process.

Understanding Westmere Processor

What is Westmere Processor

The Westmere microarchitecture for desktop and server processors was released in 2010 with some notable improvements and a process shrink in comparison to Nehalem, its predecessor.

In this specific design, the significant changes are as follows:

It also supports an SRAM bit cell (HS) of 0.199 um².

A few other significant changes in the design, features, and technology, with respect to the Nehalem architecture, are summarized as follows:

One significant aspect of the Westmere processors is that they can shut down and gate off the unused cores.

Read Also:  What is GHz (Gigahertz)? (Explained)

This helps reduce the power consumption of the CPUs.

Though the Nehalem CPUs can do this as well, the Westmere processors can do it in a much better way.

This is because they can even gate off those regions of the processor that are not related to central processing but with other aspects such as:

In fact, the Westmere processors can power gate everything, as opposed to the Nehalem processors, which can power gate individual cores.

This offers the significant benefit of reducing power draw during idle state.


Ideally, for the desktop and mobile processors, Westmere was branded the 1st generation Intel Core CPUs. The different brands and some of their specific features and support are as follows:

General Specifications

Here are some general physical and technical specifications of the Westmere processors that are good to know:

However, there are a few exceptions to the general specifications and support. For example:

Instruction Sets and Extensions Support

The Westmere processors support quite a few different extensions of IA-32 and x86-64 instructions as follows:

Translation Lookaside Buffer

The Westmere processors also come with Translation Lookaside Buffers (TLBs) for data and instructions. The specifications of the TLBs are as follows:

Westmere Processor vs Sandy Bridge

Read Also:  What is Rocket Lake Processor? (Explained)


The Westmere CPUs, as you can see from the specs and features of them reveal, are the worthy successors of the Nehalem-based processors, especially the six-core Xeon processors, in more than one way.

They offer faster AES encryption, a steady performance per core ratio, and better scalability, among other benefits.