Intel to start 45nm shift with dual-core?
News.com has some interesting
tidbits about Intel's recently-announced refresh strategy, which will offset
architecture changes from process technology shrinks by one year.
Intel slides snapped by X-bit labs last week show a plan to move to 45nm
process technology with a Core derivative called Penryn in 2007, and to
introduce a new architecture one year later once the 45nm process is
mature. Now, News.com says the move to 45nm will not only occur with a
Core derivative, but that this Penryn chip will also be dual-core,
unlike the upcoming quad-core 65nm Kentsfield, which is also due in 2007. Quoting
"sources familiar with Intel's plans," the site claims Penryn will be a
45nm version of Merom, a 65nm dual-core mobile chip that's expected this
August. Penryn will apparently be joined by Wolfdale, a 45nm version of the Conroe desktop chip.
According to an analyst quoted by News.com, the choice to move to 45nm
with a dual-core rather than quad-core chip is a preventive
measure against poor initial yields with the new process. Indeed,
building a processor with two cores instead of four cuts die size in
half, reducing the chance of producing a faulty chip. This strategy
could still help produce a quad-core chip if Intel puts two separate
dies on one processor package, as it did with its first 65nm dual-core
Pentium D. The company is expected to do the same with its first
quad-core Kentsfield CPU in 2007, and the analyst hints it could happen
again with Intel's first quad-core 45nm chip. "Penryn and Wolfdale will
probably be stepping stones to Intel's first integrated quad-core
processor," he claims.