Intel to start 45nm shift with dual-core? 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, 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, 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.

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