Intel Starts 45nm Transition, Crossover of 45nm and 65nm Shipments in mid-2008

Intel Makes Optimistic Projections Concerning Transition to 45nm Process Technology

by Anton Shilov
11/30/2006 | 11:05 PM

Following the announcement concerning sampling of the code-named Penryn processor made using 45nm process technology, Intel Corp. said that the company had already started to shift one of its fabs to 45nm fabrication process and that the crossover in shipments of 45nm and 65nm products will occur in 2008, inline with typical transition pattern.


Rob Willoner, technology analyst at Intel's technology and manufacturing group, is reported to have said that the world’s largest chipmaker Intel Corp. had already started transitioning to 45nm manufacturing technology at its D1D fab in Oregon, according to a news-story at DigiTimes web-site.

The firm expects the first commercial 45nm microprocessors to leave the D1D fab’s doors sometime in the second half of 2007. Typically, it takes Intel several quarters to reach the crossover between shipments of products made using the previous and next-generation process technologies. According to Mr. Willoner, 45nm would not be an exclusion and the crossover between 45nm and 65nm products will be reached in 2008.

Effectively, the shipments crossover means that by late 2008 Intel will produce more advanced processors with the Core 2 micro-architecture with SSE4 set of instructions.

Intel announced in mid-October that that it has fifteen microprocessor designs set to be manufactured using 45nm process technology, including such products like Bloomfield, Yorkfied and Wolfdale. Intel is currently sampling the code-named Penryn processor at 45nm fabrication process, which will ship to customers in the second half of 2007.

No official details concerning the Penryn chip design were announced this time, however, according to previously published news-stories, the chip code-named Penryn is a 45nm incarnation of the dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo processor for mobile computers (code-named Merom) with SSE4 technology that, Intel promises, is set to benefit a variety of applications, including those involving graphics, video encoding and processing, 3D imaging, gaming, web servers and application servers. It is unclear what kind of advantages besides the SSE4 the new chips will have over the current Intel Core 2 Duo product family.

Typically, thinner manufacturing process may allow Intel to crank up clock-speed of the chips, enlarge its cache sizes, reduce power consumption and make them cheaper to make.