Upcoming 45nm Xeon Processors from Intel

DailyTech.com reports on an internal memo from Intel listing the speeds for Intel's upcoming 45nm Xeon ("Penryn") processors due in late 2007.

"Penryn" is the next chip family based on the Core micro-architecture and will include a number of enhancements along with a die-shrink to 45nm. The upcoming Penryn chips will be marketed under both the "Core" and "Xeon" brand names and encompass the entire spectrum of products (mobile, desktop, server).

The internal memo revealed that the 45nm Xeons (server class chips) will feature a 1333 MHz front-side bus and 6MB of L2 Cache per die. Processor speeds for the 45nm Quad-Core Xeons range from 2.33GHz - 3.16GHz. While Dual-core Xeons will also be produced, they will take a more "auxiliary role" with bulk of production focusing on the Quad-core chips.

One Intel engineer, who asked to not be named, claimed this focus on quad-core is a typical reaction to the market in general. "In the server space, there isn't much need for dual-core when we can go quad ... If your [applications] are threaded, there's no reason to use two cores when four are available."

Apple currently uses Intel's server-class chips (Xeons) in their Mac Pro and Xservers. The Mac Pro uses Intel's Xeon processor in 2.0 GHz - 3.0 GHz Dual Dual-Core (4 core total) configurations or 3.0 GHz Dual Quad-Core (8 core) configurations.

Despite the comparable clock speeds, the Penryn chip is said to include a number of performance boosts over similarly clocked processors.

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