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Clarkdale Platform Architecture

And it will partially happen this way because Clarkdale (and Arrandale) is not just a dual-core CPU. It is the first and the only processor with integrated graphics.

However, the graphics core will still not be integrated directly into the actual CPU die. Two dies – CPU and the graphics accelerator – will simply be put together onto a single processor circuit board.

Note that only processor die will be manufactured with 32 nm technology. The graphics core will still be made with 45 nm process. But you shouldn’t think that the CPU and the graphics accelerator combined on a single PCB will exist independently from one another. Intel engineers are still going to implement some kind of communication between them. The most interesting part of this interaction is the Turbo Boost graphics-processor technology called Graphics Turbo that will accelerate the graphics core when the CPU is not loaded with work too much. Keeping in mind that this dual-die implementation of GPU and CPU in Westmere processors will use the same cooling solution for both, this whole solution looks very sweet. However at this point they are planning to implement graphics Turbo Boost only in mobile Arrendale processors.

As soon as the graphics core will migrate into the same processor packaging as the actual CPU die, the entire system architecture will change dramatically. The launch of the new LGA1156 platform has already transformed the system core logic into a single-chip solution and the entire system now consists of two major microchips instead of traditional three: CPU and South Bridge. The introduction of embedded graphics part won’t change this structure. Clarkdale processors will be LGA1156 compatible and systems based on them again won’t need a North Bridge.

They will only add a KVM-Switch into the existing South Bridge and the pure video signal will be transferred from the CPU to the South Bridge via special Intel Flexible Display Interface bus. Other than that, nothing will change.

As you all know, the current generation mainboard with Intel’s integrated graphics core is G45. The new 5-series chipset for the upcoming Clarkdale processors will have another big chip onboard. But the overall mainboard PCB design is lower-dimension. It offers more freedom in the X and Y dimensions as well as in Z dimension without compromising the performance.

Today Lynnfield processors used P55 chipset. With the introduction of Clarkdale there will be also H- and Q-chipset series. H-series will be targeted for home users and Q-series - for business users, that is why the Q-series chipsets will also support vPro technology. Theoretically, Clarkdale processors should be able to work in existing Intel P55 based mainboards, but in this case you will need an add-on graphics card as well.

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