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Tuesday, 18 September 2007 21:24

Intel gets ready for 2009 Nehalem release

Intel has confirmed a November release for its next-generation Penryn processor, but the company's attention is already largely focused on its successor: the new Nehalem microarchitecture.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CEO Paul Otellini said that Penryn, which will incorporate 45 nanometre technology but use the company's existing Core 2 microarchitecture, would be released for desktop and server systems on November 12 this year.

"As we are speaking, wafers are moving through the fabs in anticipation of shipping to customers for that November 12 launch," Otellini said.

A second wave of releases, including mobile versions of the processor, will be released in the first quarter of 2008, while the Montevina platform for laptops, the successor to Santa Rosa, will appear midyear.

The shift from 65 to 45 nanometres isn't the only change in the Penryn platform. Onboard packaging for Penryn systems will also be 60% smaller than current models, allowing more options to build low-cost systems. "Smaller is better, smaller is cheaper," Otellini said.

Otellini also said that Intel's manufacturing processes for 45nm processors and 65nm chipsets will be halogen free by the end of 2008.

While Penryn will make up the bulk of Intel's business in 2008, the company is already talking up Nehalem, the successor to the Core 2 microarchitecture. "Nehalem was finished about a month ago, and we have wafers running in fab," Otellini said. Nehalem uses a modular design to allow easy changes to features such as cores and cache size.

Otellini showed off the first Nehalem sample processors that had been produced, and said that the company was on track to deliver Nehalem systems to the general market in 2009 as part of its ongoing roadmap. A demonstration system running the processor was also shown off, using primitive voice synthesis to proclaim: "I am only three weeks old and I am already talking."

Disclosure: Angus Kidman attended IDF as a guest of Intel.

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