updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2007
Mobile C2D Early 2008 Leak
Intel's early 2008 refresh of its Core 2 Duo chips for notebooks will be extensive, according to a new roadmap leaked online. Although the semiconductor firm has already publicly confirmed that its Penryn architecture will define the upgrade through the use of a cooler-running 45-nanometer process and new SSE4 vector units, the new information points to a relatively sharp increase in clock speeds as well as memory cache. The base clock speed will increase from 1.8GHz in today's architecture (known as Santa Rosa) to 2.1GHz, the roadmap shows; other chips will increase speeds by as much as 400MHz, with 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz, and 2.6GHz models being introduced at the same time.
The amount of secondary cache available to a processor will also go up as a whole but will also be reshuffled to give less memory to lower-cost units, Intel notes. The 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz models should include 6MB of cache versus the 4MB of today's Core 2 Duos, but the two slower models will include half that amount at 3MB each -- a step forward for the least expensive model (which today uses 2MB) but a step back for the next-best CPU, which currently offers 4MB. The jump from 2.0GHz to 2.4GHz is expected to help offset this difference.
Intel is expected to launch the Penryn upgrade within the first three months of the year alongside a 2.8GHz version of the mobile Core 2 Extreme just introduced this week; a new mainboard chipset dubbed Montevina will follow that spring with improved 802.11n wireless and Turbo Memory cache along with other minor changes.