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3/28/2007
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Intel Prepping 'Penryn' Dual- And Quad-Core Processors

Intel said its 45-nanometer Penryn family of processors would be in production during the second half of 2007. The company also provided a sneak peak at its next-generation 45-nm processor, codenamed Nehalem, which is set for production in 2008.

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Corp. said Wednesday (March 28) that its 45-nanometer Penryn family of processors would be in production during the second half of 2007.

During a press briefing here Wednesday, Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's digital enterprise group, also provided a sneak peak at Intel's next-generation 45-nm processor, codenamed Nehalem, which is set for production in 2008.

Intel claims to have more than 15 45-nm hi-k product designs in various stages of development and plans to have two fabs in 45-nm production by the end of the year, the company said. By the second half of 2008, Intel plans to have four fabs in 45-nm production, the company said.

Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said six Penryn processors, including dual- and quad-core desktop processor and a dual-core mobile processor would be available under the Intel Core processor brand name. Dual and quad-core Penryn server processors will also be available under the Intel Xeon processor brand name, the company said.

Gelsinger said 45-nm is "far from" a simple shrink of a 65-nm device. The 45-nm node, he said, introduces a "fundamental restructuring of the transistor," the first since the days of Intel pioneers Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, Gelsinger said.

Intel's 45-nm high-k process technology offers approximately twice the transistor budget, 20 percent faster transistor switching speed and lower leakage current when compared with the company's 65-nm technology, Gelsinger said.

Nehalem's scalable architecture provides for between one and 16 or more threads utilizing one to eight or more cores, Gelsinger said. He added that Nehalem processors already in design have eight cores and 16 threads. Some Nehalem processors are likely to have more cores, he said, declining to discuss specific product configurations.

Nehalem's architecture provides for simultaneous multi-threading, multi-level shared cache, Gelsinger said.

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