Intel Discloses Peculiarities of Next-Gen Desktops.

@ 2005/04/11
Intel Corp. disclosed some of the peculiarities of its desktop platforms at the ongoing Intel Developer Forum in Tokyo, Japan. If Intel’s promises and some unofficial information are combined, then the world’s largest chipmaker can be expected to introduce a new x86 processor micro-architecture next year.

According to slides Intel Corp. demonstrates at IDF Japan, the company’s Averill platform will support processors code-named Presler, Cedar Mill and Conroe along with Intel virtualization technology, Intel’s LaGrande technology as well as EM64T, EDB, EIST and iAMT2. While everything is pretty clear with the technologies Intel plans to introduce, not all is obvious about the microprocessors the top chipmaker wants to offer to the market.

Intel’s Presler and Cedar Mill processors are expected to be NetBurst-based chips with two and one processing engines respectively. It is projected that the aforementioned chips are derivatives of Smithfield and Prescott central processing units produced using 65nm process technology with minimal architectural changes. The Conroe was originally claimed to be a desktop flavour of Intel’s code-named Merom central processing unit (CPU) intended for mobile applications and featuring appropriate aggressive power saving capabilities.

Intel Merom processor itself reportedly is not a yet another Banias-like architecture, like Dothan and Yonah, but, as some sources proclaimed, “completely revamped” dual-core product also intended for mobile computers with relatively low power consumption, but still with rather high performance per clock, about 20% - 30% higher than that of predecessors, according to the claims.

Intel’s microprocessor code-named Conroe is expected to remove certain power constraints and probably widen thermal envelope of the Merom. Additional performance tweaks are also possible to bring extra speed, but the conception of a chip will still remain – a low-power highly efficient central processing unit. In addition, the Conroe will have to support the whole breed of desktop features, including virtualization capabilities, LaGrande technology, 64-bit capability in addition to EDB, EIST and iAMT2.

No Intel representative would confirm or deny that the Merom and Conroe are, or are not, completely different products from the NetBurst and the P6 architectures. Still, a pure dual-core NetBurst chip would not be mentioned separately, while no P6 chip could employ the mentioned feature-set without very serious design changes.

Officials for Intel Corp. did not comment on the news-story.

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