Turbo Boost may bring meaty gains in low-power Arrandales

Quad-core mobile processors are all well and good, but they don't exactly help if you want a thin, light, and mobile system. That's where Intel's upcoming Arrandale processors will come in: 32 nm, dual cores, and thermal envelopes in line with what Intel offers in current Core 2 products.

Fudzilla has gotten the scoop about one of those future chips, the Core i7-640UM. Don't let the name fool you—this will be a dual-core offering with Hyper-Threading support. Still, the specifications look quite impressive: a 1.2GHz base clock speed with room for up to 2.26GHz via Turbo Boost, 4MB of L3 cache, and an 18W thermal envelope.

Fudzilla also mentions a 1,066MHz front-side bus, but Intel phased out the FSB with its Nehalem architecture. If the Core the i7-640UM exists, it will probably use DMI to talk to the I/O, just like current mobile Core i7 processors. Being a Westmere part, the i7-640UM should also have a graphics processor on the same package as the CPU.

In any case, the possibility of a low-power mobile processor whose cores can climb up a whole gigahertz sounds pretty tempting. Don't look for this product in future consumer ultraportables, though; Fudzilla says it will launch at a hefty $305.

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