Intel Heads Towards 4MB Cache in Desktop Processors

Intel Merom Specifications Unleashed

by Anton Shilov
03/16/2004 | 08:49 AM

A Japanese web-site has shed some light on plans of the world’s No.1 chipmaker to incorporate its technologies into future generation of micro-architectures. Apparently, the processor code-named Merom will sport everything Intel described recently as well as feature massive 4MB cache.

 

PC Watch web-site claims that Intel’s code-named Merom microprocessor, which is also going to have a breed designed for desktop computers, will support all the latest techniques from Intel, including Intel Extended Memory 64 technology (IA32e), La Grande technology, Hyper-Threading technology, Vanderpool technology and some other features aimed to improve CPU performance and extend usage patterns of PC. The Merom microprocessor is expected to contain two or more processing cores and 4MB of built-in on-die cache, which is unbelievable size for desktop chips.

Processor code-named Merom was first mentioned as successor for Intel Pentium M CPU intended for mobile applications.

Merom and its desktop brother Conroe will be made using 65nm process technology and feature a new micro-architecture that will have a number of differences with NetBurst and Pentium M architectures used today. The architecture, though, will still be 32-bit in general.

Normally Intel makes use of a desktop processor micro-architecture for about 4 to 5 years. Intel NetBurst will be Intel’s main architecture for desktop central processing units for 5.5 – 6 years. If the report about the Merom and its architecture turns to be correct, the IA32 will live on till the year 2011-2012 at least.

One of Intel’s notable plans is to bring desktop, mobile and server processors capable of multi-threading thanks to multi-core design as well as technologies resembling already adopted Hyper-Threading.

Sometime in mid-2005 or later Intel is anticipated to add a processor with two cores in its Pentium M family intended for notebooks. Apparently, the code-named Jonah chip is projected to contain two Dothan cores and to be made using 65nm fabrication technology. The central processing unit is said to disable the second core when functioning on battery power and will enable both cores once the computer is plugged to power outlet. Thermal Design Power of Jonah is likely to be about 45W, while die size is expected to be 100 – 120 square millimeters.

The successors of Jonah are Merom, Conroe (2006) and Gilo (2007) processors, all featuring brand-new architecture with 64-bit extension technology. Conroe may become Intel’s first dual-core IA32e processor for desktop computers.

Intel’s IA32e dual-core chip currently known as Tulsa will emerge in late of 2005, as Intel stated originally. This will be the first Xeon MP microprocessor with two cores. Thanks to the Hyper-Threading technology, the chip will be able to handle four or more threads at once, competing with solutions from other server chipmakers. There is no information about infrastructure for Intel Xeon “Tulsa” at the moment.

In performance desktop and DP server/workstation markets dual-core chips are only said to emerge in 2006 along with Nehalem architecture that also boasts with IA32e extensions.

Intel is also preparing numerous dual-core and multi-core Itanium microprocessors.

Intel did not comment on the report.