updated 09:55 am EST, Wed December 5, 2007
Penryn C2D in January
Intel's first mobile processors using the company's 45-nanometer Penryn architecture have been exposed and have a fixed release date, according to a new leak. The initial release will continue to use the Santa Rosa mainboard platform but ramp up clock speeds, add new media-oriented SSE4 extensions, and increase the Level 2 memory cache without affecting the power use or the price. Every mainstream processor will have a typical peak power use of 35 watts virtually identical to the larger and slower 65nm models they replace, according to the tip. The introductory processors will all be dual-core chips, with quad-core waiting until the release of Intel's new Montevina mobile platform in the summer.
Unlike the earlier architecture, Intel plans to split the processor series into two distinct lines from the outset, the tip says. The entry T8100 and T8300 will run at 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz (up from 1.8GHz and 2GHz in equivalent models) but boost cache up to 3MB versus their originals. The high-end T9300 and T9500 will clock at 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz, also doubling their cache to 6MB. A special Core 2 Extreme chip, the X9000, will consume more power at 44 watts but run at 2.8GHz; like earlier models, this will largely be limited to desktop replacements and slim-profile desktops where battery life is less of a concern.
Intel plans an early launch in 2008 to ensure the technology is already in notebooks at the start of the year, the sources say. A formal launch will occur on January 6th for all four of the new processors at prices comparable to outgoing models: a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo will cost the same $209 per unit in bulk as its ancestor while the 2.6GHz version assumes the earlier 2.4GHz processor's $530 price tag. The Core 2 Extreme will sell for $851.
The release date is set just days before the CES and Macworld San Francisco technology shows and is likely to see almost immediate use by some computer manufacturers, though the leaked schedule does not identify any manufacturers by name. Larger builders such as Dell and HP have typically been the first to adopt new Intel processors on launch.