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Intel Corp. on Thursday during a meeting with financial analysts confirmed intention to launch microprocessors code-named Merom and Conroe for notebooks and desktops. The firm called the chips “second generation dual-core processors”, which may indicate new architecture of the chips.

Intel’s president and COO, who will soon become the CEO of the world’s largest chipmaker, said Intel would launch “second generation dual-core processors” Merom, which would succeed Yonah, and Conroe, which would succeed Presler, in late 2006. He did not elaborate whether the company would ship the chips for revenue late next year, or Intel would launch the chips in late 2006.

Intel’s Presler processor is expected to be NetBurst-based chip with two processing engines respectively. It is projected that the chip is a derivative of Smithfield central processing units produced using 65nm process technology with minimal architectural changes. The Conroe was originally claimed to be a desktop flavour of Intel’s code-named Merom central processing unit (CPU) intended for mobile applications and featuring appropriate aggressive power saving capabilities.

Intel Merom processor itself reportedly is not a yet another Banias-like architecture, like Dothan and Yonah, but, as some sources proclaimed, “completely revamped” dual-core product also intended for mobile computers with relatively low power consumption, but still with rather high performance per clock, about 20% - 30% higher than that of predecessors, according to the claims.

Intel’s microprocessor code-named Conroe is expected to remove certain power constraints and probably widen thermal envelope of the Merom. Additional performance tweaks are also possible to bring extra speed, but the conception of a chip will still remain – a low-power highly efficient central processing unit. In addition, the Conroe will have to support the whole breed of desktop features, including virtualization capabilities, LaGrande technology, 64-bit capability in addition to EDB, EIST and iAMT2.

No Intel spokesperson would confirm or deny that the Merom and Conroe are, or are not, totally dissimilar products from the NetBurst and the P6 architectures. Still, calling Merom and Conroe as “second generation dual-core processors” and not calling Presler with such term indicates significant changes the chips may have compared to predecessors.

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