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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  • porkster - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    I'll be upgrading to the P4-633 then. Yeah it's strange thye are even going to both with the 6x2 series unless they want to make a tier of products, but that sucks.

    .
    Reply
  • Furen - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Well put.

    DRM, at least in the beginning, will be an enabling technology. The problem is not the technology itself but rather the ability to ENFORCE license agreements it gives content providers.

    I personally dont think everyone following license agreements is the problem, but rather the fact that the content providers will be able to achieve THEIR aims using MY hardware. This will, in turn, make it easier for content providers to force users into insane license agreements, like being able to play a song only on a single pc, for example (at least, that's what my limited understanding of DRM--and trusted computing as a whole--leads me to believe).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    One thing we probably should have pointed out is that this roadmap ends right before the time when we should start seeing the Conroe/Merom CPU cores show up (2H'06). Part of that is probably because not even Intel known what they'll call those processors, but I think that's the biggest event currently on the Intel CPU horizon. :) Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    PrinceGaz: Two things; "just about every tech site" was really ONE website that understood something poorly, reported on it, and then about 30 other websites reporting the same thing or reclarifying the original statement. DTCP is surprisingly similar to HDCP in many ways but mainly differs in the fact that it only works for DTCP-ready content. How much DTCP content are you viewing right now that you need to worry about whether or not it will hamper your multimedia experience? I'm kinda approaching this like a scenario for Macrovision without DVDs.

    OK point 2; it can be disabled. The first reaction many people claim is "oh it can be disabled, it's only a matter of time before you cannot!". Maybe. On the other hand, if you want IPTV without any DRM you might want to start your own broadcast studio.

    I don't like unnecissary DRM as much as the next person, but I do want to watch four different angles of the Yankees @ 1080p over FIOS. Maybe I'll write something exploring some of the non-knee jerk details of DTCP.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    A 2.5 GHz Yonah with all the trimmings and some of the poor performing areas addressed might impress me.

    None of this stuff in their roadmap does however.
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    VT is interesting and has major advantages over using something like VMWare which only implements partial hardware support for a host OS. Of course the vast majority of people, even most AT readers, are unlikely to use it seriously.

    Personally I'm far more interested/concerned about the progress of Intel's LaGrande and AMD's Presidio security (aka hardware DRM) in forthcoming chips. Why is it that this topic seems to be completely ignored by AT articles when it is potentially the most important aspect of new processors, given the implications it has on who will really control our computer (assuming you are foolish enough to install the DRM-riddled Longhorn when it is released)?

    Just about every other tech site has reported about the recent Pentium D DRM story in depth (both the initial story, and the follow up with their analysis of what that really meant), but it hasn't had a single mention on AT.
    Reply
  • AlexWade - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    And to think, if it wasn't for AMD's competition, we would still be using Pentium 1 at 100 MHz. Reply
  • HSuke - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    I agree. 2.5+ GHz Yonahs with SSE3 would be nice. Reply
  • Doormat - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    Yea I'm really disappointed in Yonah performance. I fully expected to see 2.5GHz Yonahs by Q1 2006. Reply
  • KayKay - Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - link

    I like the Intel Chipset/Processor names, thats about it, as it is doubtful I will buy a desktop Intel CPU ever again Reply

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