Intel to move to common CPU architecture

IDF — Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced today in his keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum that Intel will be moving its future CPUs to a common architecture. He said the architecture will incorporate the best of the current Netburst and mobile architectures, with a focus on delivering more performance per watt. The architecture will be used in mobile platforms (code-named Merom), desktops (Conroe), and servers (Woodcrest). This processor architecture will feature a range of next-generation Intel technologies, including 64-bit compatibility (EM64T), virtualization (VT), Intel's LaGrande security features, and Intel Active Management Tech (iAMT).

These CPUs are dual-core products built on Intel's 65nm process technology, and Otellini presented live demos of all three processors running various operating systems. Otellini's presentation was driven by a Merom-based laptop. He showed Linux running on the desktop-targeted Conroe chip and Windows Server 2003 on Woodcrest. Otellini said the silicon is already "running quite well," and the company expects to ship products in the second half of 2006.

Otellini said Conroe should deliver five times the performance per watt of the Netburst microarchitecture in desktop platforms.

Before this new architecture debuts, Intel will still deliver its first generation of 65nm processsors for mobile (Yonah), desktops (Presler), and servers (Dempsey) in the first half of 2006.

Unfortunately, Otellini's address has so far been short on nitty-gritty details of the new architecture, such as the possible integration of a memory controller, changes to bus technology, or microarchtectural innovations. We will be hunting for additional details and reporting them back to you as they become available.

Update: We now have more details about the new architecture in a separate story.

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