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Although Intel’s postponement of a new version of Pentium M chip was a big surprise for the industry, it looks like there are more changes in the company’s mobility roadmap. According to a report from a Japanese web-site PC Watch, Merom and Gilo processors no longer exist in Intel’s plans, but there is a new chip called Jonah.

In accordance with previous information, Intel intended to offer a completely new processor for mobile computers in 2005. The part code-named Merom was meant to be based on a totally new micro-architecture that should not resemble Tejas or Nehalem architectures. Intel Merom CPUs were destined for production using 90nm process technology, but there were indications about a processor code-named Gilo – a 65nm version of Merom. For the Merom and the Gilo processors Intel would offer totally new core-logic sets code-named Crestine-GM.

Apparently, there are no more Merom and Gilo CPUs planned at this point. What is listed in the roadmap of Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker is Jonah core that is meant to be available in three versions: typical, Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage.

Since Jonah chips are targeted for the second half of 2005 launch, the Japanese source presupposes that the part would be made using 65nm process technology.

However, thinner manufacturing technology does not necessarily mean lower Thermal Design Power. According to the report, Jonah processors will guzzle around 45W of energy, an incredible figure keeping in mind that Pentium M “Banias” typically devours 25W, while Pentium M “Dothan” is likely to consume even less – about 21W.

Reasons why the chips code-named Jonah consume a lot more energy than predecessors and are not in-line with the general trend of decreasing power consumption by mobility microprocessors are not fully clear. In general, there could be a number of them:

  • Intel’s upcoming mobile CPUs will incorporate a lot more transistors than their predecessors because of a new or considerably reviewed architecture.
  • The chips will run at very high clock-speeds.
  • The parts will have a faster flavor of Quad Pumped Bus and will also run at high core-speeds.

In fact, bumped up processor system bus speed seems to be a very strong catalyst for skyrocketing power consumption. PC Watch claims that Pentium M “Dothan” CPUs with 533MHz QPB will consume 30W, a 9W uptick over Pentium M “Dothan” chips with 400MHz bus and moderately lower clock-speeds.

Intel will be in a position to address the issue of high thermal envelope of its CPUs fundamentally only in 2007, when the firm starts using its high-k dielectrics along with 45nm process. Until then Intel’s processors are likely to increase their TDP whenever there is a performance boost.

All the information about long-term future of  CPUs developed by Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker is not official. Given that the destiny of Merom and Gilo products is not fully clear, there is a slight possibility that there will be another 90nm mobile part before Jonah or some other significant changes in Intel’s mobile family of products.

Pentium M is a part of Intel's Centrino platform technology specifically developed for mobile computers.

Officials from Intel do not usually comment on unreleased products.


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