Intel Poised to Enter New Era with Penryn

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2007-11-11 Email Print this article Print

Intel will roll out 16 new 45-nanometer processors for servers, workstation and high-end desktops.

Intel is ready to enter the 45-nanometer era. As Intel CEO Paul Otellini detailed in his opening remarks at the 2007 Developer Forum, the company will bring its Penryn family of 45-nanometer processors to market Nov. 12.

The official release will bring 16 new microprocessors to the company's portfolio, including 12 quad-core models, three dual-core chips and one quad-core processor specifically designed for high-end desktops and gaming PCs.

Although Otellini's keynote took some of the suspense out of the debut, the Penryn lineup represents a significant step forward for the Santa Clara, Calif., company's manufacturing abilities. The processors also marks the first time Intel will use its Hafnium-based processor technology that will reduce power leakage—the electricity wasted while the transistors are idle—which will improve the power performance.

The Penryn family, which will continue using Intel's Core microarchitecture, will include 12 quad-core Xeon 5400 series processors, previously code-named Harpertown, and three dual-core Xeon 5200 series chips, formally called Wolfdale DP. The final processor is a Core 2 Extreme QX9650 for high-end and gaming desktops.

Additional desktop and notebook processors will follow in the first quarter of 2008, said Stephen Smith, vice president and director of operations at Intel's Digital Enterprise Group.

While Penryn represents a major milestone for Intel, many analysts believe the company's next microarchitecture—Nehalem—which is due to arrive in late 2008 and will allow the company to produce processors with up to eight cores, is the real key to Intel's future.

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