Notebook Makers Worried About Pentium M “Dothan” Compatibility

Dothan's Thermal Envelope May Cause Issues

by Anton Shilov
03/29/2004 | 11:24 AM

While Intel’s next-generation mobile processor code-named Dothan is expected to be pin-to-pin compatible with existing platforms for Intel Pentium M microprocessors, notebook makers are worried about increased thermal design power of the chip, as their chassis were developed taking into account only Intel’s current chip formerly known as Banias.

 

Intel Pentium M processor – the key-element of Intel Centrino mobile platform – is based on a micro-architecture specially tweaked for mobile applications that delivers high performance amid low power consumption to enable longer battery life in today’s systems. General micro-architecture of the Pentium M more resembles that of the Pentium III rather than the inner design of the Pentium 4. Nevertheless, the processor has some important advantages over the previous generation P6 architecture, such as support for SSE and SSE2, Advanced Branch Prediction, Micro-Op Fusion, Power Optimised Processor Bus, Dedicated Stack Manager technology as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology.

Currently Intel supplies flavors of Pentium M chips with 400MHz PSB, 1MB of L2 cache and speed-bins ranging from 900MHz to 1.70GHz. The microprocessors are manufactured using the company’s 0.13 micron process technology and have power dissipation from 12W to 24.5W.

Intel Pentium M “Dothan” processor will be made using Intel’s 90nm fabrication technology known for some issues with power leakage and higher than initially expected thermal dissipation and consumption. The code-named Dothan chip with 2MB L2, which initial core-clock is expected to achieve 1.80GHz, will at some point have higher power consumption compared to the Banias, sources among notebook makers said. As a result of such higher thermal envelope laptop manufacturers have to redesign at least some of their chassis to gain compatibility with the new CPU.

Next year Intel is expected to bring dual-core processor for mobile applications code-name Jonah. The chip is projected to contain two Dothan cores and dissipate 45W or more.

Officials for Intel Corporation did not comment on the report.