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A 2H rendezvous for Intel's 45nm chips

Posted: 30 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:45nm process technology? high-k process? quadcore processors? Penryn processor?

Intel's 45nm Penryn die

Intel Corp. revealed that its 45nm Penryn family of processors would be in production by the second half of 2007.

During a press briefing on March 28, Pat Gelsinger, senior VP and general manager of Intel's digital enterprise group, also provided a sneak peek of the company's next-generation 45nm processor, codenamed Nehalem, which is set for production in 2008.

Intel claims to have more than 15 45nm high-k product designs in various stages of development and plans to have two fabs in 45nm production by the end of the year. By the second half of 2008, Intel plans to have four fabs in 45nm production.

Intel said six Penryn processors, including dual- and quad-core desktop processor and a dual-core mobile processor would be available under the Intel Core processor brand name. Dual and quad-core Penryn server processors will also be available under the Intel Xeon processor brand name, the company said.

Gelsinger said 45nm is "far from" a simple shrink of a 65nm device. The 45nm node, he said, introduces a "fundamental restructuring of the transistor," the first since the days of Intel pioneers Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, Gelsinger remarked.

Multicore roadmap
Intel's 45nm high-k process technology offers approximately twice the transistor budget, 20 percent faster transistor switching speed and lower leakage current when compared with the company's 65nm technology, Gelsinger said.

Nehalem's scalable architecture provides for between one and 16 or more threads utilizing one to eight or more cores, Gelsinger explained. He added that Nehalem processors already in design have eight cores and 16 threads. Some Nehalem processors are likely to have more cores, he said, declining to discuss specific product configurations.

Nehalem's architecture provides for simultaneous multithreading, multilevel shared cache, Gelsinger said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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