Intel's New Micro-Architecture

Of course, the big story of the day is Intel's new focus for microprocessor architectures.

Intel's next microprocessor architecture will finally unify their desktop and mobile architectures, for a new focus on performance per watt as the driving force behind future CPU development.

Intel formally announced their first CPUs based on their next-generation microarchitecture: Woodcrest, Conroe and Merom. All of these CPUs will be built on a 65nm process and will be 64-bit enabled.

The new processors will be available in the 2H of 2006 and will significantly improve performance per watt over the current generation processors:

Woodcrest and Merom will both improve performance per watt by a factor of 3 over their predecessors.

Thanks to the death of NetBurst, Conroe will feature a 5x increase in performance per watt. Here's to the death of the power-hungry Intel processor.

Intel also set power consumption targets for the next-generation of systems based on these new 65nm processors:

On electrical cost savings alone, PC users will save $1 billion per year for every 100M computers.

The reduction in power will enable a new class of devices to be created at the 0.5W marker - the Handtop. The Handtop is basically a very small PC, that may end up being what everyone envisioned the Tablet PC as being.

Intel then went on to show off actual running silicon for all of their new CPUs, Conroe, Merom and Woodcrest.

Merom, a dual core mobile CPU, was running 64-bit Windows XP.

Intel had Conroe running a copy of Fedora Linux. Conroe is also a dual core product:

Intel's Woodcrest was running Windows Server 2003 in a DP configuration, with each processor featuring two cores:

We hope to have more information on Intel's new architecture as the week goes on, so stay tuned.

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  • AtaStrumf - Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - link

    Or you can just get an Athlon 64 now ;-)

    I'm a bit worried about those 64-bit windows. Where did x86-64 go??? Is AMD in a bit of trouble here? Is the end of licensing agreement in sight? Find out on the next episode of $50 Athlon 64!!!
    Reply
  • RaynorWolfcastle - Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - link

    It looks like 5x per watt than Northwood judging from that graph (highest TDP for that is 89 watts at 3.4 GHz) which is probably the worst performance/watt of any Northwood.

    Using this figure, 5/(89/65) = 3.65x faster than a 3.4 GHz Northwood or 82% faster per core than a 3.4GHz Northwood.

    If we assume it was a 1.8 GHz Northwood, then its TDP is 47W

    Using this figure, 5/(47/65) = 6.9x faster than a 1.8 GHz Northwood or 145% faster per core than a 1.8 GHz Northwood.

    Either way, that seems very optimistic, although it means that we should see a very sizeable jump in spead even in single threaded apps
    Reply
  • Den - Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - link

    The slide shows the handtop as 0.5 watts and the subnotebook at 5.0 watts, but your text says the handtop is 5.0 watts and that 0.5 is something else. Interesting article otherwise though, I REALLY look forward to the new generation. Reply
  • Avalon - Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - link

    Sounds like a great direction for Intel. I'm very interested in the Conroe chip. Reply

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