A New Standard

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-05-24 Print this article Print

Given its capabilities, Core Microarchitecture will now become the new standard, and Intel will set upon improving upon it in subsequent generations. The transition will be "more like a Pentium II to Pentium III kind of thing. Its not something thats so radical that its a complete diversion," Pawlowski said.
"Its really—so when youve got have Core Microarchitecture and you go to Nehalem [Intels next architecture design], you want Nehalem to be similar to this so that youre leveraging off of it and youre adding value there."
Meanwhile, reusing as many elements as possible from Core Microarchitecture will allow Nehalem to be more compatible from generation to generation. "That way youre not putting stress on the operating system guys—theyre not going to build a generation A and a generation B of the O. Theyre going to build one OS," Pawlowski said. Intel will also couple its new two-year microarchitecture cadence with its existing two-year manufacturing cycle. Having rolled out its 65-nanometer manufacturing process in late 2005, the company will begin moving to 45-nanometer manufacturing in 2007. Read more here about Intels business brand. The nanometer figures refer to the size of the features inside a chip, which are generally made smaller with each transition, allowing a chip maker to add more transistors. Generally, increasing transistor counts once meant higher clock speeds. But, in the future, it will allow for increases in the number of processor cores a given chip can contain. After having delivered its Core Microarchitecture in 2006, it will orchestrate whats called a shrink, moving Core Microarchitecture to 45-nanometers. The shrink is dubbed Penryn. Then, during 2008, Intel will deliver Nehalem, its next chip architecture, and begin making chips based on it with its 45-naometer manufacturing. It will begin switching to 32-nanometer chip-making in 2009, executive a Nehalem shrink called Nehamem-C and in 2010 deliver Gesher, yet another new architecture. Over the period—in which Intel will also be transitioning between dual-core, quad-core and octo-core chips—the company will aim to gain "significant performance increases from generation to generation," Pawlowksi said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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