Intel’s Mainstream ’08 Chips – Still Dual-Core

Quad-Core Chips Market Conquer Will Be Slow

by Anton Shilov
05/11/2006 | 11:41 PM

Even though Intel is very bullish with revenue shipments of quad-core processors in late 2006 and their introduction in early 2007 for both servers and desktops, the company’s mainstream product line will still utilize dual-core processors. Apparently, the mobile and desktop chips that should come in early 2008 will have two processing engines.


Intel’s code-named Penryn and Wolfdale processors, which are to be manufactured using 45nm process technology, due to arrive in early 2008 will be incarnations or Merom and Conroe processors, respectively. They will only have two processing engines, which means that “wide-spread” quad-core chip era is not around the corner. On the other hand, this means that the epoch of the single-core chips comes to its end: Intel does not seem to plan more single-core central processing units.

Penryn will be a 45nm derivative of the Merom, whereas Wolfdale will be 45nm incarnation of Conroe, reports Cnet It is unclear what is different in the new chips, most likely, it is larger caches and/or higher clock-speed, however, it is known that all the four aforementioned processors are based on the micro-architecture known as Intel Core 2. It was reported earlier that Intel Corp. is planning single-chip quad-core processor Bloomsfield (both Kentsfield and Clovertown use two chip per single substrate design), which is likely to be made using 45nm process technology.

An Intel spokesperson reportedly confirmed that the Penryn and Wolfdale code-names symbolize projects that are under development, but declined to mention the details of the products other than to note that they are subject to change.

Also in 2008 Intel Corp. is set to introduce the successor of the Core and Core 2 micro-architecture along with the new processor code-named Nehalem, which should deliver architectural advantages in performance, power consumption and so on. Currently it is unclear whether Nehalem processors will have two, four or more cores. Nehalem processor will be built using 45nm production technology.

Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, for years introduced new processor micro-architectures on proven process technologies and then delivered their “shrunk” versions using thinner fabrications processes. Intel Corp. will continue to follow that strategy, however, it recently announced that micro-architectural shifts are going to happen much more frequently – every two years – compared to earlier 5-year micro-architecture cycle.