updated 01:15 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2007
Intel 4-Core Mobile Demo
Intel today at its Developer Forum in Taiwan demonstrated one of the first working examples of its mobile quad-core processor as well as new cooling technologies that will help run the chip in the future. Part of the chipmaker's Penryn architecture, the chip was shown in early form running the recently launched game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at high speed during an opening speech by Intel mobile VP Mooly Eden. The CPU required larger-than-normal cooling equipment given the rough state of the processor, but was stable despite its 847 million transistors and a typical peak usage of 45 watts versus the 35 of today's Core 2 Duo processors, the Intel executive said.
An official clock speed for the processor is unknown, though its use of the Montevina platform will supply a faster 1,066MHz bus (versus 800MHz) in addition to improved integrated graphics, 800MHz DDR2 and DDR3 support, and the option of WiMAX for wide-area broadband Internet access. Launch details are unknown beyond an early-to-mid 2008 release window, though the initial quad-core notebook chip is said to be considered a Core 2 Extreme and would be intended primarily for desktop replacements and other large notebooks.
New cooling systems should be in place next year that will make the mobile Core design feasible for more notebooks, Eden added. The company has developed a miniature compressor design just under four inches long and which follows the same basic principles of a refrigerator to cool the system; the design could be added to a standard notebook's fan or heatsink layout in a given notebook to reduce the temperature than standard.
A second system would rely on passive cooling. Intel revealed that it had developed a new material that could use the keyboard tray as a permeable cooling surface without exposing the system. The surface would be fine enough to allow air to be drawn into or vented from the tray but would resist liquid spills. Notebooks implementing the design would have a much larger surface for dissipating heat without relying on underside vents or the case itself to reduce the temperature, according to Eden. Both this and the compressor should be available in third-party notebooks within the next year.