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Intel Road Map Stretches From Quad Cores To Mobile Internet

An advanced 45-nanometer manufacturing process, quad-core designs code-named Penryn and Nehalem, and a platform aimed at mobile Internet devices are a few of the items up the chipmaker's sleeve.

Intel on Thursday outlined a product road map that's expected to extend the company's reach into every segment of the computer market, from high performance machines to Web-enabled consumer electronics.

The linchpin to the chipmaker's plans, which executives presented at Intel's Spring Analyst Meeting in New York, is the shift to a 45-nanometer manufacturing process from a 65-nanometer process. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. The move is expected to boost processor performance, while reducing size, energy use, and manufacturing costs.

Intel plans to ship its first 45-nanometer chip, code-named Penryn, this year. All of Intel's chips will be branded under its Core microarchitecture launched last year. In 2008, the company plans to start the switch to a new architecture, code-named Nehalem. In 2009, the company is expected to introduce its first 32-nanometer chip, a Nehalem-based processor code-named Westmere. In 2010, Intel plans to move to another new microarchitecture, code-named Sandy Bridge.

In his presentation to analysts, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini identified what the company sees as its biggest growth segment today -- notebooks -- and what it sees as future, high-growth markets -- mobile Internet devices, ultra-low-cost PCs, and Web-enabled consumer electronics.

On the notebook side, Intel sees mobile PCs surpassing desktops in shipments in 2009. Shipments of the former have been growing in double digits for several years, while desktops have been in the single digits. "This is why we're so manically focused on the notebook," Otellini said. The chief executive, however, also emphasized that severs and desktops continue to be big revenue generators for Intel, and would get the company's full attention with new products.

For mobile computing, the company is on schedule to ship a new 65-nanometer chip, code-named Santa Rosa. The 45-nanometer version, which will be a member of the Penryn family, is due in the first half of next year.

From the second half of this year though the first quarter of next year, Intel plans to ship two 45-nanometer quad-core processors (Harpertown for servers and Yorkfield for desktops) and three dual-core chips (Wolfdale, a dual processor configuration for servers; Wolfdale for desktops; and Penryn for mobile).

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