Intel Details Moorestown, Nehalem Road Maps at Developer Forum

At the Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan, Intel executives offered a glimpse into the future for both the company's Moorestown platform for mobile Internet devices and Intel's upcoming "Nehalem"-based processors. While the first of the Nehalem-based processors are scheduled to enter the desktop market in November, the Moorestown platform, which will use a new SOC chip called "Lincroft," is scheduled to arrive in 2009.

At its Developer Forum in Taiwan this week, Intel executives demonstrated the company's upcoming Moorestown platform for mobile Internet devices that will use a new system-on-a-chip design called "Lincroft" as well as a new generation of processors based on the new "Nehalem" microarchitecture.

The Intel Developer Forum, which kicked off Oct. 20, allowed Intel to detail its product road map for the rest of 2008 and into 2009 and 2010. The disclosures included information on mobile Internet devices, or MIDS, which are geared toward the consumer market, as well as products for the enterprise and business markets. In addition to some new road map details, Intel also slashed the prices on some of its older processors on the same day.

One of the most significant announcements to come from the show concerned the availability of the first processors based on Intel's Nehalem architecture. At the show, Intel executives said the first of these processors, called the Intel Core i7, will launch in November in time for the holiday shopping season. Intel has said that Core i7 is designed for high-end desktops and gaming PCs.

After the Core i7, Intel will turn its attention to the enterprise and release the Nehalem-EP processor for high-performance computing as well as Nehalem-EX, Intel's first eight-core processor for server systems. After that, Intel will roll out two desktop chips-"Havendale" and "Lynnfield"-and then two notebook processors code-named Auburndale and Clarksfield, by the second half of 2009.

Intel also disclosed that it will update its vPro technology-a chip bundle designed to make it easier for IT departments to manage and secure a large corporate fleet of PCs-in 2009 with two new platforms. The new desktop vPro platform is called "Piketown," while the laptop version is dubbed Calpella.

For MIDs, Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, detailed the company's second-generation platform called "Moorestown." This platform will launch by 2010.

While the first Intel MID platform used a variation of the Atom processor, Moorestown will use the SOC (system on a chip) design Lincroft.

With Lincroft, Intel engineers will combine a 45-nanometer CPU along with graphics, the memory controller, and video encoding and decoding technologies into a single SOC package for MIDs. In addition, Intel will also offer an I/O hub-code-named Langwell-that will allow a MID to connect to wireless, storage and display devices.

When Moorestown launches, Intel promises that the platform will offer 10 times the idle power consumption performance of the first generation. With the SOC technology, wireless connection and low power consumption, Intel is looking to blur the lines between MID and the current generation of smart phones in the market now.

In terms of that wireless technology, Chandrasekher announced that the new platform will support a number of technologies, including 3G, WiMax, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In addition, Chandrasekher announced that Intel had struck a deal with Ericsson to provide HSPA (High-Speed Packet Interface) technology for the Moorestown platform that should enhance this generation of MIDs to work with third-generation networks.