Intel’s Dual-Core 65nm Microprocessors to Fit Into Current Thermal Spec

@ 2005/04/21
Intel Corp.’s Paul Otellini disclosed some of the details concerning the company’s forthcoming dual-core desktop processors. Apparently, the chips’ clock-speed will increase in future even despite “more aggressive” thermal envelopes, but in the long-term desktop chips may become less power hungry. Still, the first 65nm chips will fit into current thermal specifications.

Thermal Specs of Desktop Chips to Come Down

“As we move dual-core in the desktop, particularly in the Extreme Edition, you’ll see us continue to drive the clock-speed within a more aggressive power envelope than those machines can handle. I don’t think 4.00GHz is necessarily a fundamental limit… The thermal envelope is the key and I do believe that it’ll come down even in the desktops,” said Intel’s President and COO.

When asked about thermal envelope for dual-core desktop and mobile processors made using 65nm process technology, the company’s executive said they would fit into existing thermal envelopes, but eventually thermal design power of such chips will be reduced from the current level of 130W.

“The initial products will fit inside existing mobile and desktop power envelopes. Then will try to bring out derivative versions and take that down over time as we crank up architectural features… We are certainly not trying to take that up,” Mr. Otellini said.

Numerous 65nm Designs Are Prepared

Intel Corp. has a number of 65nm processors for desktops and mobiles planned to be introduced in 2006. For the desktop the firm is expected to release code-named Presler, Cedar Mill and Conroe microprocessors. For the mobile market the world’s largest chipmaker preps dual-core processor internally called Yonah.

According to recently released information, Intel’s 2006 desktop platform known as Averill 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.

Intel’s next-generation desktop dual-core processor is called Presler, which will be made using 65nm process technology and will have die size of about 140 square millimeters, according to some sources. The Presler chips, which are claimed to be branded as Intel Pentium D 900-series, are expected to be clocked at 2.80GHz, 3.00GHz, 3.20GHz and 3.40GHz and use 800MHz processor system bus. The chip will have 4MB of cache in total, or 2MB per core. CedarMill is single-core flavour of the Presler. Intel officials did not confirm the specs of Presler.

The Yonah processor for mobiles is a successor of the Dothan with two cores and without any substantial architectural improvements. 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, and probably Merom, 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.

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