Intel Confirms New CPU Architecture to Launch in Late 2006

Intel Says Conroe, Merom, Woodcrest are Not NetBurst-Based

by Anton Shilov
05/12/2005 | 11:12 AM

Patrick Gelsinger, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Enterprise Group at Intel Corp., confirmed in an interview with German journalists that the company’s second-generation dual-core microprocessors would not be based on the NetBurst architecture that powers the majority of current client and server processors from Intel. Instead, the giant will employ an architecture that will be concentrated on delivering more performance per clock cycle, but will not necessarily be a high-speed one in terms of megahertz.


“With our products, which are developed under the code names Conroe, Woodcrest and Merom [we will say goodbye to NetBurst],” said Patrick Gelsinger in an interview with web-site answering the question whether Intel will cease to use NetBurst architecture with certain future processors.

This is the first official confirmation that Intel’s second-generation dual-core processors are not based on the NetBurst architecture that allows very high clock-speeds, but is not cannot match some of other architectures in terms of performance per clock and performance per watt.

“The Pentium 4 has a very deep pipeline. That was among other things necessary for the high clock-speeds, however, it caused lower efficiency in terms of high power consumption and performance. We decided for a number of reasons to employ an architecture less deep pipeline. In this regard that resembles rather the Pentium III. But some of the functions we introduced with the NetBurst, will also be found in the new architecture,” Mr. Gelsinger added referring to technologies like Hyper-Threading and Virtualization.

Late last week 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 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.