Intel Corp. plans to start transition to 32nm process technology considerably earlier than originally scheduled. Apparently, the company plans to start very aggressive promotion of its code-named Clarkdale processors in the Q4 2009 by shipping them in very mass quantities about a quarter ahead of the original plan.
Intel will start shipping 32nm dual-core microprocessors with 4MB of cache, Hyper-Threading, dual-channel DDR3 memory controllers and integrated graphics cores code-named Clarkdale for mainstream desktop computers. Clarkdale is based on the code-named Westmere micro-architecture.
Since Clarkdale central processing unit (CPU) has memory controller, graphics core as well as PCI Express interconnection inside, there will be no need for GMCH (or North Bridge) on the mainboard. Instead, the new processors will connect directly to Intel 5-series core-logic (code-named Ibexpeak platform) controller hub (PCH) that will carry hard drive controller, wired and wireless network controllers, monitor physical interfaces, PCI controller and other input/output as well as platform-related capabilities.
According to DigiTimes web-site, which cites mainboard makers, Clarkdale CPUs will account for 10% of Intel's total OEM desktop microprocessor shipments in the fourth quarter and in the Q1 2010 the share of code-named Clarkdale CPUs will increase to 20%.
Even though Clarkdale is a multi-chip module (MCH) with 32nm dual-core CPU and 45nm graphics core, its ramp seems to be quite aggressive and may point to unexpectedly high yields Intel has with its 32nm process technology.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.