Intel Details Chip Roadmap 2007-2008: Penryn and Nehalem

Intel today released some details on its next-generation 45 nanometer chips (code-named Penryn) due later this year.

Penryn, the next chip family to be based on the Core micro-architecture, will include the following enhancements (among others):

- Speeds in excess of 3 GHz
- Dual-core L2 cache of 6 MB, Quad-core L2 cache of 12 MB
- Intel Virtualization Technology speed enhancements
- SSE4
- Enhanced Intel Dynamic Acceleration Technology: when one core sleeps, a still-active core will get a performance boost (single-threaded applications will see a boost).
- Deep Power Down Technology: "significantly reduces the power of the processor during idle periods such that internal transistor power leakage is no longer a factor. This helps extend battery life in laptops."

Intel currently has 15 Penryn-based chips lined up. The upcoming Penryn chips will be marketed under both the "Core" and "Xeon" brand names with dual core mobile processors, dual and quad-core desktop processors, and dual and quad-core server processors.

Apple will likely only select a few models to include in its lineup. Apple currently uses the Core Duo "Yonah" in the Mac Mini, Core 2 Duo "Merom" in the iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro, and the Xeon 51xx "Woodcrest" in its Mac Pro and Xserve. Recurring rumors (1, 2, 3) of an upgraded Mac Pro utilizing Xeon 53xx "Clovertown" 4-core chips have yet to come to fruition.

In addition, Intel gives a glimpse towards its future next-generation Nehalem architecture. While Nehalem is still a ways off with initial production set for early 2008, Intel says that the architecture will see a rebirth of Hyperthreading, incorporate caching advances, and will scale to 8 cores and beyond.

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