Intel tips details of 45nm Penryn, Nehalem chips

March 29, 2007 – Intel has unveiled new details of its future chips that will incorporate 45nm process technologies starting later this year, including integrated memory controllers and graphics engine and the return of “hyperthreading” technology.

Microarchitecture improvements in the Penryn chips target faster virtual machine transition times, higher clock frequency within existing power and thermal targets, faster divider performance, larger caches, and a full-width single-pass shuffle.

The Nehalem chips, slated for production in 2008, will reintroduce hyperthreading, a simultaneous multithreading feature offering performance of 1-16+ threads and 1-8+ cores and scalable cache sizes.
Hyperthreading was seen in Intel’s single-core Pentium 4 processors in 2002 but largely unused since introduction of multicore chips (sources: CNet, Register, etc.) Nehalem chips also will feature an optional integrated memory controller, a feature already incorporated into chips from rival AMD, and integrated graphics core.

Intel says it has more than 15 45nm high-k product designs in various stages of development, with two ready for production by year’s and another two by 2H08. Analysts also noted other data about the chip technologies discussed by Intel, including 25% die size reductions at 45nm that will help boost margins and yields even during the protracted price war with AMD.


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