The Lowest Power Core 2 Centrino, Ever

The table below can get a little confusing but it's paramount to understanding the power benefits of Centrino 2:

  Core 2 Duo (45nm Penryn) Core 2 Duo (45nm Penryn) Core 2 Duo (65nm Merom) Core 2 Duo (65nm Merom)
Platform Montevina Santa Rosa Refresh Santa Rosa Napa
TDP 25W 35W 35W 34W
Vcc (High Frequency Mode) 0.9V - 1.25V 1.0V - 1.25V 1.0375V - 1.3V 1.0375V - 1.3V
Vcc (Low Frequency Mode) 0.85V - 1.025V 0.85V - 1.025V 0.85V - 1.05V 0.75V - 0.95V
Vcc (Super LFM) 0.75V - 0.95V 0.75V - 0.95V 0.75V - 0.95V N/A
Icc @ 2.4GHz HFM 38A 44A 41A 41A

The far right column has the first Core 2 Centrino platform, codenamed Napa and to its left we have the beloved Santa Rosa platform. You'll notice that the voltage and current characteristics of these two CPUs are virtually identical, which makes sense since they are both based on the 65nm Merom. The first Penryn parts appeared in the next column over with the Santa Rosa Refresh. Note that here, while the voltages dropped vs. Merom, maximum current draw actually went up to 44A from 41A. This could be due to greater leakage, the higher clock speeds offered by Penryn or simple inexperience with the 45nm process compared to Intel's tried-and-true 65nm process upon its release.

The three platforms we just mentioned however all carry a 34/35W TDP, but now at 2.4GHz with Montevina Intel has lowered the TDP by 10W to 25W. The lower TDP is made possible by dropping voltages a bit further, note that in its highest frequency mode the minimum Vcc has been lowered to 0.9V down from 1.0V. The end result is both lower voltages and lower maximum current draw than any previous Core 2 based Centrino platform.

 

The CPUs The Montevina Rollout for the Rest of 2008
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  • gfxmatters - Friday, July 18, 2008 - link

    So now that we have established that the HD video is broken (unless you like frame-skipping :>), how about the 3D and some games? I like Intel (I own many) and give them the benefit of the doubt on CPUs, but not GPUs. Why? Track record, from Vista issues to reported game perfornace and compatibility! Let's see the numbers....
    Reply
  • SmartyPants - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    Not 100% sure, but don't the new Lenovo Thinkpad X200 have Centrino 2? Some people have gotten their hands on units and reviews are popping up. Reply
  • FITCamaro - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    I'm glad this feature is finally making a real push in the market. And it doesn't get any lower power than an integrated Intel GPU. All I want on the go is web browsing, DVD playback and Office. If I'm playing a game on a laptop, its with the power cord plugged in. Reply
  • nysupport - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1880/85/">http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1880/85/ Reply
  • kevinkreiser - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Seriously, does anyone know when G45 based boards will finally hit the market? The article mentions that GM45 laptops should be out within 30 days, but it seems like I've been waiting for what seems like 6 months for the G45. Reply
  • Brian23 - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    I think your package info for the chips is wrong. 35mm^2 is smaller than the size of your pinkey fingernail. I think you meant to say 35mm x 35mm. That would be 1225mm^2 or 1.225cm^2. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - link

    actually, that should be 12.25cm^2 Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Hi Anand,

    you're writing:

    "Note that here, while the voltages dropped vs. Merom, maximum current draw actually went up to 44A from 41A. This could be due to greater leakage, the higher clock speeds offered by Penryn or simple inexperience with the 45nm process compared to Intel's tried-and-true 65nm process upon its release."

    It's much simpler than that. P = U*I, so if P=const (35W) and V goes down, I has to go up.

    Regards,
    MrS
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    Not so much "new platform" as "new marketing opportunity for OEMs".

    I don't mean to knock Centrino - the original platform really did move the wireless revolution along.

    Centrino2 however brings nothing new other than upgraded (or downgraded!) components.

    I think AMD went the right way by including graphics requirements in their http://game.amd.com/us-en/amdgame_whatis.aspx">AMD GAME! platform, but only time will tell. Centrino is such a strong brand name it might be hard to top. It would be nice to see a gaming-based Centrino.
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - link

    It'd be nice if you could also get a similarly configured system with the 2.53GHz T9400 and P9500 to try to ascertain the realworld battery-life benefits between the 35W and 25W TDPs. (I'd wish they'd just call the 25W TDP parts Medium Voltage, Mxxxx parts, which makes it more intuitive where they belong compared to LV and ULV parts.)

    And maybe a comparison between a 2.4GHz SL9400 and a 2.4GHz P8600 to see how big a difference the loss of 3MB of L2 cache is. With a 1066MHz FSB, it probably isn't a big deal.
    Reply

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