Intel's 32nm Update: The Follow-on to Core i7 and Moreby Anand Lal Shimpi on February 11, 2009 12:00 AM EST
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Tick-Tock: U R Doin it Right
Let’s check the stats; Conroe in July 2006, Penryn in October 2007, Nehalem in November 2008. That’s a tock, tick, and another tock, each about a year apart. Note that the cadence does appear to be slipping a bit, but we’ll see exactly when in 2009 we get Westmere before making any accusations.
The next tick is, as I just mentioned, Westmere. It’s a 32nm shrink of Nehalem, much like Penryn was a 45nm shrink of Conroe/Merom. And it’s due out in the fourth quarter of this year.
Yesterday, Intel demonstrated working versions of its 32nm processors in both desktops and notebooks. The notebook aspect of the demonstration is very important, which I’ll get to later. Both mobile and desktop versions of Westmere will be shipping from Intel in Q4.
Getting Complicated with Code Names
Nehalem is the overall name for Intel’s 45nm desktop/mobile/server product family. At the high end we have Bloomfield, which is the quad-core, eight-thread, Core i7 processor we all long for. That’s the only Nehalem derivative that’s launched thus far.
|Segment||Manufacturing Process||Socket||Processor||Cores||Threads||Release Date|
|High End Desktop||45nm||LGA-1366||Bloomfield||4||8||Q4 2008|
|Mainstream Desktop||45nm||LGA-1156||Lynnfield||4||8||2H 2009|
|4S Server||45nm||LGA-1567||Nehalem-EX||8||16||2H 2009|
|2S Server||45nm||LGA-1366||Nehalem-EP||4||8||1H 2009|
|1S Server||45nm||LGA-1156||Lynnfield||4||8||2H 2009|
By the end of this year we’ll see Lynnfield and Clarksfield. These are both quad-core, eight-thread Nehalem processors but at lower TDPs and price points. They will fit into Intel’s unannounced LGA-1156 socket and only support two channels of DDR3 memory (compared to LGA-1366 and 3-channels with Core i7).
On the server side we’ll have Nehalem-EX, an 8-core, 16-thread version. Nehalem EP a 4-core, 8-thread version. And Lynnfield again for the entry level servers.
These are all 45nm parts and all due out by the end of this year.
Note that there’s one name missing: Havendale. Havendale was supposed to be a 2-core Lynnfield + on-chip graphics, perfect for notebooks and low end desktops where quad-core isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, Havendale got delayed until Q4 2009 with systems shipping in Q1 2010. That just happened to coincide with Intel’s 32nm ramp so a very significant decision was made: Havendale got scrapped.