updated 02:20 pm EDT, Thu October 18, 2007
Intel Dual-Core Celeron
Intel will use the start of 2008 to shift its Celeron processor line to dual-core models, claim PC business insiders. The Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor firm is allegedly due to launch a new E1000 series for the budget desktop CPU that would double the number of cores without significantly affecting clock speed. The initial processor, known as the E1200, would be clocked at the same 1.6GHz as the current Celeron D 420 and would share both the 800MHz bus and 512KB of Level 2 cache of the single-core model. Costs would be kept down by continuing to use the outgoing 65-nanometer Conroe CPU design instead of the more efficient, 45-nanometer Penryn design for imminent Core 2 and Xeon processors, according to the report.
The introduction of the E1000 line would begin by early 2008 and would include at least the E1200, which would reportedly see bulk pricing of $53 per processor for system builders. Other speed grades are expected but were not discussed as part of the apparent leak. Power consumption was also omitted and may play an important factor in the use of the new Celeron by system manufacturers who develop small form factor PCs.
Two mid-range desktop CPUs in the Core 2 family are also expected to follow the E1200 in winter, the report says. The E4700 would split the difference between architectures and would be built on a faster overall 45-nanometer process; in exchange, its bus speed would be limited to 800MHz instead of the 1,333MHz of new Core 2 chips and would provide only 2MB of L2 cache. A second E4000 design is also being readied that would bring a faster 1,066MHz bus and 3MB of cache, though the tip noted its actual clock speed and model number were still uncertain.
The advancements would create a significant step forward for Intel's desktop line and may indicate related improvements for low-end mobile CPUs following the release of the 45-nanometer Core 2 mobile platform, nicknamed Montevina, in early- to mid-2008.