Yonah Yonah Yonah

It sounds like it should be part of a song, but really, it's just the core name of Intel's most promising dual and single core approaches that will launch in Q1'06. Anand gets uncomfortably giddy whenever someone mentions Yonah, although some of the revelations like clock speed were a large letdown to us. Yonah is definitely something that we talk about a lot and the 65nm dual core processor based on an evolved Dothan is really exciting. Even with the letdown on clock speed, there are more SKUs than we had originally thought, which should make low end laptops and media centers really competitive on the low end. Media centers, you say? Yes, it looks like Pentium M finally does have some sanctioning by Intel for use outside of laptops and blades. The bold chipsets indicate discrete graphics only.

Intel Single Core Value Desktop Lineup LGA775

Chipset

FSB Clock

Memory Clock

Launch

955XM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945GM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945PM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945GMS

667MHz

Single Channel

DDR2-533

Q2'06

940GML

533MHz

DDR2-400

Q2'06

915GM

533MHz

DDR2 533MHz

Soon

915PM

533MHz

DDR2 533MHz

Soon

915GMS

400MHz

Single Channel

DDR2 400MHz

Soon

910GML

400MHz

DDR2 400MHz

Soon


Intel is launching two chipsets dedicated specifically for small form factor notebooks and PCs; 915GMS (soon) and 945GMS (Q2'06). 915GMS utilizes single channel DDR2-400 and 400FSB, while the much more powerful 945GMS will use single channel DDR2-533 and a 667FSB. For laptops, avoiding dual channel memory isn't a bad idea, but judging by the performance increase that we saw when running Dothan on an 865PE motherboard using ASUS' adapter, Pentium M can certainly make use of additional memory bandwidth - compression, games, and workstation tasks all showed pretty significant performance increases. We got a small taste of Pentium M in the digital home at Computex this year with some demonstrations of 915GMS from manufacturers like Shuttle and Intel. Don't expect HTPCs all over to start using Pentium M in troves, but at least it's a win for those who enjoy Pentium M over Pentium 4 and Pentium D.

Intel's integration of 945 and 955 into the next generation Centrino platform (also known as Napa) will come in three main flavors (945GM, 945PM and 955XM) with 945GMS taking up the SFF route a quarter later. Napa gets all the function from each of the existing chipsets, but also adds iAMT to the Yonah processor, Vanderpool, 3945ABG wireless and Gigabit Ethernet. This all has us very excited until we caught a glimpse of the launch speeds and prices.

Intel Dual Core Mobile Lineup LGA775

Processor

Speed

L2 Cache

FSB

Launch

Cost

Pentium M x50

2.16GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$637

Pentium M x48 LV

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$316

Pentium M x40

2.0GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$423

Pentium M x38 LV

1.50GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$284

Pentium M x30

1.83GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$294

Pentium M x20

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$241

Pentium M TDB

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q2'06

$209

Pentium M TDB LV

1.20GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'06

???

Pentium M TDB LV

1.06GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'06

???

Pentium M 780

2.26GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'05

$637

Pentium M 770

2.13GHz

2MB

533MHz

Now

$637


The new Yonah chips are denoted with an "x" in front of their product name because we do not know where they will fall into Intel's product naming yet - although 8xx or 9xx would be the best candidates. There are two surprises here, the first obviously being the low clock speed. We had expected a higher clock than the existing Pentium M chips, much in the same manner that Dothan is capable of higher speeds than the earlier Banias chips. However, just as Cedar Mill and Presler come with similar clock speeds to their 90nm predecessors, Yonah is initially slated to launch at about the same speeds as current Dothan parts. The clock ramp will surely come eventually, but don't expect phenomenal clock speeds particularly for a first generation. Intel claims that the TDP for 2.0GHz Yonah will be around 31W and 15W for the Low Voltage version.

As a dual core solution, Yonah is the most advanced (other than perhaps Itanium 2 Monticeto) solution that we have seen out of either AMD or Intel. This has a lot to do with the fact that Yonah isn't just two cores slapped together (notice that they share the same cache). It is being built from the ground up as a dual core solution, similar to how Banias was designed specifically with the goal of low power and mobility. We have high hopes that it will realize better performance scaling than some of the other Intel dual core chips. Here's where things take an interesting twist.

The second big surprise are the "TBD" (To Be Determined) chips. These are single core Yonahs. Since all the original documentation about Yonah claimed that the two cores were intertwined, our guess is just that the single core versions are identical to the dual core versions with a single core disabled. Given the added complexity of a second core, we wouldn't be surprised to find that the single core Yonahs will initially be composed of chips with one faulty core - rather than throw out the whole core, Intel can just deactivate the faulty half and sell it at a reduced price. We've been seeing this for quite a while with reduced cache versions of some processors, and it makes sense from a manufacturing and yield perspective. For $209, however, a single core 1.66GHz Yonah would have to have some pretty amazing performance increases over the existing Pentium M 740 and 735 that cost just over $200 today. It looks like we will find out a year from now.

Yonah has other endeavours as well, including a server variation on the chip (Sossaman) and Celeron M. Sossaman will begin to replace Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage versions of Xeon as early as Q1'06. Pentium M has already proven itself extremely valuable in the blade market, so dual core, dual processor configurations seemed almost inevitable. The first dual processor configurations of Sossaman are expected in Q2'06. Yonah already has some extremely interesting design features, but whether or not they scale to two or more processors is something that we definitely plan on exploring more in the future.

Celeron M for Yonah will have 1MB L2 cache and run at 533FSB. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Yonah Celeron M will utilize EIST. Details on Celeron M seem very sparse, but we do know that the new Celeron M lineup will start 4xx.

Desktop Roadmaps Continued The Server Side of Things
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  • segagenesis - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Although it still sounds vague in explanation, if VT tech lets you run two *different* operating systems at the *same time*, similar to using VMWare in full screen mode... that would be pretty nice.

    The savings of having to buy extra hardware (or VMWare itself) for another OS without dual booting would help those on a budget.
    Reply
  • Shintai - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    #42

    A geforce 6600GT runs at 500Mhz GPU..a 7800GTX runs at 430Mhz..does the 7800GTX suck compared to the 6600GT?

    Sometimes you just don´t need huge CPU power, but you need low powerusage for either batterytime and/or how compact you can make it.

    The 1.06Ghz Yonah most likely uses a few watts only. And with few we are talking a low single digit number. Or the same as having 30 1.06Ghz for 1 2.4Ghz AMDx2. Or having 45 1.06Ghz instead of 1 3.2Ghz P4D.
    Reply
  • Araemo - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    "All of the Cedar Mill cores clearly have VT support (as do the Prescott 2M cores), so why Intel would want to deactivate it in one model is anyone's guess."

    Binning!

    Intel is expecting noticeable issues getting high yields out of the VT portions of the silicon, or at least are expecting a noticeable failure rate(30% or so higher than the average failure rate for the rest of the chip?), so they are planning something to do with all the chips that fail VT qualification, but pass everything else.

    (At least, that's my guess.)
    Reply
  • sgtroyer - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    your wording in paragraph 4 is a little wierd:

    "Presler will in fact be nothing but two Cedar Mill cores sharing the same core, just as Smithfield is only two Prescotts sharing the same core."

    Wouldn't it make more sense to say Presler is two Cedar Mill cores sharing the same *die* or sharing the same package? Two cores sharing the same core doesn't make any sense.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Eug - "But it doesn't HAVE to be 2006. If it's out by 2007 for laptops that's fine"

    Fair enough...but remember that the important factor here is the PERCEPTION of release.
    By that I mean that the imminent release of 64 bit apps would be a big deterrent (IMHO) to anyone thinking of buying a Yonah based laptop next year. If true, then Yonah would be the only chip unable to run the apps. Software in 2006 will most likely be both 32 and 64 bit...but if people believe that any of the apps they use will be released in 2007 as a 64 bit only, then they have to accept that their new laptop will only have a 1 year lifespan (something that businesses would probably avoid, and they buy the most laptops).
    This is especially true as AMD should have a very competitive product (both in power and low power usage) that is already 64 bit and will probably cost a few dollars less...
    Reply
  • blwest - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Ok. 1.06ghz... that was soooo 5 years ago. Reply
  • Eug - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    I disagree. 64-bit on laptops can be important, if only because it allows you to do 64-bit development and testing on a laptop.

    But it doesn't HAVE to be 2006. If it's out by 2007 for laptops that's fine. By that time both Windows Longhorn and OS X 10.5 Leopard should be out, perfect timing for Merom.
    Reply
  • mino - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Viditor:
    I wasn't completely sure(maybe next Yamhill:).
    That's it. For now 64bits on mobile doesn't make sense(except *nix). Howerever in '06 it's gone be pretty much a mainstream feature on desktop(not to mention server).
    Also in the big picture this makes sense since it will put SOME(just on niche markets) pressure on AMD with minimal resources amd will also limit P-M into low-power space so it will not interferewith next-ge chips.

    But here come BIG BUT! it seams that only single possible serious contender in performance race from intel camp is out of the game!

    So it seems AMD has free ground to play for another at least 1.5yrs ! (That makes it 3.5 in total!!!). Anyway i like smart moves by AMD this is NOT gona be GOOD FOR US. (customers)

    little sorry for my screams, not slept for too long ;)
    Reply
  • Viditor - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    mino - no, Yonah will not be 64bit (as Shintai explained)...but I disagree that it will not be important. For software in 2006, it won't be important but for software in 2007 it will be (IMHO).
    There you have 2 differing OPINIONS...we shall see! :-)
    Reply
  • Shintai - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    #37

    No..and it´s not really important. Meron(mobile) and Conroe(desktop/server) will be 64bit and with characteristics of pentium M. They are an 8th genration core tho. And not based on the 6th(p-M) or 7th(p4)
    Reply

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