Intel Poised to Enter

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2007-11-11 Print this article Print

New Era with Penryn"> The cost benefits associated with 45-nanometer should help offset the billions of dollars Intel invested in developing the new chips and converting or building new manufacturing facilities—factories – to manufacture the chips. The Penryn debut also shows that Intel has now solidified its manufacturing abilities and can deliver products to partners and OEMs on time.

Penryn also shows that the company has continued to follow Moores Law (named for Intel founder Gordon Moore( that dictates that the number of transistors double about every two years, which increases performance. The new processors will contain 820 million transistors—the building blocks of the processor—compared to the 582 million contained in the quad-core Xeon processors the company brought to market in 2006.
These Penryn transistors will speed up by 20 percent, while reducing power consumption by 30 percent since they can switch on and off at the 45-nanometer level compared to those used 65-nanometer chips, according to Intel.
In terms of performance, the quad-core Xeon 5400 series processors will have clock speeds ranging from 2GHz up to 3.2GHz, a front side bus – the part of the design that allows data in and out of the processors – with speeds of up 1600MHz and 12MB of L2 cache. The dual-core Xeon 5200 series processors will crank the clock speed up to 3.4GHz while offering 6MB of L2 cache and a 1600MHz FSB. Finally, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, which is designed for gaming and high-end PCs, will clock in at 3GHz, offer 12MB of L2 cache and have a 1333MHz FSB. In terms of TDP (thermal design power)—an Intel term that refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate—the first batch of new chips will range from 80 watts to 130 watts with 50-watts models coming in 2008. Intel is also planning to release three new server platforms with Penryn. These platforms include: "Stoakley" with the 5400 chip set for high-performance computing; "Cranberry Lake" with the 5100 chip set for two-socket systems; and "Garlow" with the 3200 chip set for single-socket servers. In the second half of 2008, Smith said Intel will roll out a new processor called Dunnington for MP (multiprocessor) systems, which is essentially an upgrade for the high-end "Caneland" platform. Besides clock speed, larger caches and bigger FSB, Intel has made a number of small changes with Penryn, including a new SSE4 instruction set that is made up of 47 processor instructions that will speed up functions like rendering high-definition video. There are also improvements to Intels own virtualization technology that will allow virtual machine transition times—the time it takes to enter and exit a VM—to increase between 25 and 75 percent without any software changes. The new Xeon processors will sell between $177 and $1,279 per 1,000 units shipped. The Core 2 Extreme QX9650 will sell for $999 per 1,000 units shipped. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.


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