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Intel’s next-generation mobile platform that is set to be released in March, 2007, will not only acquire 64-bit capability, but also higher-speed processor system bus and even next-generation wireless networking, according to a Japanese web-site.

The code-named Santa Rosa platform and Crestine chipset will boost the processor system bus speed of the processor known under Merom name – expected to be introduced later this year – to 800MHz, which should significantly increase performance of this dual-core chip in multimedia tasks that require high bandwidth. It is yet uncertain whether Crestine chipset will support higher-speed dual-channel DDR2 memory, but in the past years memory bus clock-speed was usually the same as processor system bus speed.

The code-named Merom processor will feature 14-stages pipeline, down from 31 or more stages found in current Intel Pentium (Prescott) designs, 4-issue out-of-order execution engine as well as improved performance of the floating-point unit (FPU). This greatly showcases the substantial difference from the current NetBurst chips that have very deep pipeline and cannot boast with really high-performance FPUs. Furthermore, 14-stages pipeline is deeper compared to AMD Athlon 64’s 12-stages pipeline, which, on the one hand, allows slightly higher clock-speeds compared to the AMD64 architecture, but, on the other hand, may mean a bit lower efficiency. Additionally, being dual-core processor made on a single piece of silicon, Merom will sport L1-to-L1 cache transfer as well as, possibly, unified L2 cache (up to 4MB) for better performance in applications that heavily rely on threading.

Besides, the platform is expected to feature code-named Kedron wireless network controller compliant to 802.11n standard, reports PC Watch web-site. The 802.11n standard will increase bandwidth to up to 600Mb/s, a major increase from current 54Mb/s in the laptops.

Intel originally planned to release Santa Rosa in 2006, but a delay of the code-named Sonoma platform caused the company to shift introduction of the recently introduced platform internally named Napa into 2006 and push the next-gen platform into 2007.

Intel representatives reportedly prove that Santa Rosa is the code-name of the company’s mobile platform slated to be introduced in 2007, but they are tight-lipped over the specifications of the part.


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