At the fall Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan, Intel gave a sneak preview of its upcoming platform for notebooks, code-named Calpella. This new Intel laptop platform, which is due in 2009, will use Intel processors based on the Nehalem microarchitecture and offer a number of power-saving features that should help increase the battery life of laptops. The notebook platform was one of several mobile demonstrations at IDF.
When the Calpella platform does come to market, Intel
plans to include processors based on the soon-to-be-released Nehalem
architecture. The first of the Nehalem chips will enter the PC market in November. After that
Intel will offer Nehalem-based processors for high-performance computing and
The Nehalem processors for the Calpella platform are now code-named
Auburndale and Clarksfield.
The Nehalem processors will offer an integrated memory controller, which
will eliminate the traditional Intel FSB (front side bus) architecture and
offer a boost in performance without increasing the clock speed. Intel is also planning
to offer several power-saving features with Calpella, including power switches
that allow each individual processing core to shut off or power down when it's
not needed. Intel has designed the platform to allow the processing cores,
memory system and I/O to run on independent voltage and frequency planes to
increase the energy efficiency of the platform.
Intel has also included a technology called Hyper-Threading, which allows
for two instructional threads per core with Nehalem-based chips. Another
technology, called Turbo Boost, can increase or decrease the overall
performance of the microprocessor depending on the demands of the application.
At this season's IDF, Intel has concentrated on its mobile and laptop
offerings for 2009. On Oct. 20, Intel
demonstrated its "Moorestown" platform, which is Intel's
second-generation platform for mobile Internet devices, or MIDs. Moorestown
will include an SOC (system on a chip) design code-named Lincroft and will likely
appear in 2009 or 2010.
In addition to Moorestown, Intel executives talked about what the company is
calling UrbanMax, which will allow vendors to create small form-factor devices
for Web surfing. These types of devices will use special versions of Intel's
Core 2 Duo, Core Solo, Celeron and Atom processors. These processors will have
a TDP (thermal design power)-an Intel term
that refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate-that is much lower than
the 35 watts typically found in most laptop platforms.
The die size of 22 millimeters square for these
processors is akin to what Intel now offers with its
Atom processors for low-cost PCs and MIDs. In a statement, Intel did not
specifically explain how its UrbanMax offering will differ from the types of
platforms it is offering to vendors building MIDs.