Intel will also be moving to a 32nm manufacturing process and die geometry on its upcoming processors with its high end desktop platform "Gulftown" processors to sport 6 cores, each with 2 logical threads for a total of 12. Due out in 2010, Gulftown will be the successor to the Core i7 line and will be matched to the Intel X58 Express Chipset as well.
On the desktop performance/mainstream front, Intel is releasing the "Piketon/Kings Creek" platforms initially with the "Lynnfield" 4 core, 8 thread processors and then to be followed in Q4 of this year by the 32nm "Clarkdale" with 2 cores and 4 threads. Clarkdale will also feature integrated graphics on chip.
In addition, it's shaping up to be an exciting year on the mobile processing front as Intel releases the Mobile "Calpella" platform with the "Clarksfield" 4 core, 8 thread chips due out first, followed by the 32nm "Arrandale" 2 core, 4 thread processors ready by Q4 of this year. Arrandale will also feature integrated graphics on chip. In live conference Intel commented that integrated graphics performance will be greatly enhanced over current IGP solutions as well.
Intel's Westmere platform iterations will also allow for a migration from the Penryn and Nehalem based 3-chip solution to a 2-chip solution with an Intel 5 series chipset, since the processors will feature Integrated graphics and integrated memory controllers on chip. An "Intel Flexible Display Interface" will also be part of the solution. This will lead to a "repartitioned system architecture" allowing for simplified motherboards.
Finally, enthusiasts will be glad to hear that higher speed 45nm Core i7 Extreme Edition chips will be coming very soon this year, which should keep you busy a bit while you're waiting for Gulftown to arrive.
32nm-capable Intel Fab Plant Locations
It's clear that Intel made investments in 32nm technology years ago, so that today, even in these rather bleak economic conditions, the company is able to offer considerable advancements in product innovation and performance. What's perhaps most encouraging is that moving forward Intel will continue to invest through the economic downturn.
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