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Intel To Unveil 32-nm Westmere Chips

The chipmaker will also reveal its system-on-chip roadmap for consumer electronics, such as high-definition TVs, at the Intel Developer Forum.
Intel plans to unveil next week plans for its next-generation 32-nanometer processor technology, as well as its system-on-chip roadmap for consumer electronics, such as high-definition TVs.

The chipmaker will reveal those product details and more at the Intel Developer Forum that runs Sept. 22-24 in San Francisco. Intel is expected to host 5,000 developers, technologists, and journalists at the event.

Among the highlights will be details on Intel's next-generation 32-nanometer processors, which fall under the umbrella codename Westmere, according to preview information released by Intel Monday. The number applies to the size of the transistors on the chips. By shrinking transistors, Intel and other chipmakers can pack more of the technology on a chip, thereby increasing performance and lowering energy use. Intel is currently selling 45-nm processors.

Westmere chips will be based on Intel's current microarchitecture called Nehalem. The first two 32-nm products will include desktop chips, codenamed Clarkdale, and laptop processors, codenamed Arrandale. The processors, which are dual core with two threads per core, are scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter.

Besides more information on Westmere, Intel executives will also provide updates on Sandy Bridge, which is the codename for a new microarchitecture that is expected in 2010 and will replace Nehalem. In addition, Intel executives will discuss Larrabee, codename for an upcoming family of products that will incorporate processing and graphics engines inside one chip. The integrated technology will provide a performance boost for video and graphics.

Intel also plans to provide updates on its next-generation system on chips for consumer electronics, such as high-definition TVs. Codenamed Sodaville and based on the Atom processor, the SoCs are expected to be released next year.

Other technologies that will be highlighted at the show include Intel's second-generation high-k+ metal gate transistor formula, which will give the company a "3+ year advantage in addressing leaky and energy inefficient transistors," spokesman Bill Kircos said.

Intel also will discuss its upcoming family of one to four-core processors for non-PC devices. Codenamed Jasper Forest, the products will be targeted at embedded, communications, and storage equipment and will provide performance equal to Intel's current Nehalem-based 5500 series Xeon server processors, but with a "27-watt system power savings," Kircos said.

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