by Anton Shilov
02/11/2009 | 05:06 AM
Intel Corp. has successfully demonstrated the first working central processing units (CPUs) code-named Clarkdale and Arrandale manufactured utilizing the company’s 32nm process technology. Thin fabrication process will allow Intel to build chips with up to six cores and enable higher performance on mobile computers thanks to reduced power consumption. Additionally, the company confirmed intention to create CPUs with integrated graphics cores.
Intel will start producing 32nm dual-core microprocessors with 4MB of cache, Hyper-Threading and dual-channel DDR3 memory controllers for mainstream desktop (Clarkdale) and performance mobile personal computers (Arrandale) in the Q4 2009. Later on in 2010 the company will introduce six-core code-named Gulftown processor for high-end desktops as well as Westmere-based chip, presumably also a six-core one, aimed at dual-processor servers.
Intel will not try to aggressively create ultimate-performance CPUs using 32nm process technology from the very beginning. Instead, the first processors made using the new process will contain only two cores, but will also feature a graphics core on a separate die, but on the same piece of substrate. Making dual-core processors using 32nm fabrication process should not be a hard task for Intel and it will also provide the company necessary experience to quickly ramp up production of six-core microprocessors with high yields.
For those, who demand truly high performance without too high investments Intel prepares code-named Lynnfield quad-core processor for desktops as well as code-named Clarksfield quad-core chip for mobiles. Both central processing units will be made using 45nm process technology and will inherit micro-architectural and architectural features from currently available Intel Core i7/Nehalem microprocessors, but will have smaller caches and dual-channel memory controllers. At least based on existing roadmap, Intel does not want to transit its quad-core chips to 32nm process tech as soon as possible.
Since Clarkdale and Arrandale CPUs have memory controller 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.
Considering the fact that the new Clarkdale and Arrandale will completely re-architect the structural design of personal computers – nowadays PCs utilize three to four main chips, but with the elimination of one of the core-logic component the next-generation PCs will use two to three main chips – the new processors may be called revolutionary.
The Westmere generation of chips will sport seven new instructions for accelerating encryption/decryption algorithms – 6 new instructions for AES as well as carry-less multiply instruction (PCLMULQDQ). Carry-less multiplication is an essential processing component of several cryptographic systems and standards. Hence, accelerating carry-less multiplication can significantly contribute to achieving high speed secure computing and communication. Intel names full disk encryption as one of the usage models for the new instructions added to Westmere.