At the Fall Intel Developer Forum in September, we learned that Intel plans to release processors based on its upcoming "Nehalem" core in the second half of next year. Rumors quoting a more precise launch time are now beginning to appear, and they suggest we may see the new chips later rather than sooner. Both Fudzilla and TechConnect Magazine claim Nehalem is scheduled for a launch in the fourth quarter of 2008. Fudzilla talks only of desktop Nehalem variants, which it says are dubbed Bloomfield, while TC Magazine suggests the Q4 time frame applies to all Nehalem chips.
As we've learned over the past few months, Nehalem will bring a brand new, 45nm-based architecture packing features like an integrated memory controller, point-to-point interconnects à la HyperTransport, a built-in graphics core, simultaneous multi-threading, and more. According to Fudzilla, Intel will introduce a new LGA1366 socket, Tylersburg-DT chipset, and ICH10 south bridge along with desktop Nehalem processors. Meanwhile, TC Magazine says Nehalem CPUs due in 2008 will be dual- and quad-core only with no integrated graphics controllers. Models with eight cores and integrated graphics are said to have slipped into 2009.
Coupled with last week's announcement that 45nm AMD processors are on track for the first half of next year, these reports suggest AMD may have some breathing room to ramp up clock speeds on its 45nm parts before Nehalem kicks in the door. Of course, it's hard to predict whether AMD's upcoming 45nm processors will be competitive with the new Nehalem architecture.