updated 11:10 am EST, Mon January 7, 2008
Intel 45nm Penryn Mobile
Intel today ended the wait for its first 45-nanometer Core 2 platform. Based on the same Penryn architecture as the desktop Core 2 and Xeon parts, the new technique allows Intel to ramp up clock speeds in the tight spaces of a notebook without affecting power consumption or heat. The smaller, denser chips also make room for new features, Intel explains. SSE4 media instructions greatly improve the performance of encoding audio, images, and video as well as games when optimized for the new code; the revision also boosts Level 2 cache by 50 percent across the board and offers a Deep Power Down mode that almost completely shuts off the CPU when not in use.
Five key models mark the launch: the base 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz, and 2.4GHz chips come with 3MB of Level 2 cache (up from 2MB in 1.8 and 2GHz predecessors), while the top 2.5GHz and 2.6GHz models ship with 6MB of cache. A 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme will both offer the added speeds while de-restricting the processor for enthusiasts capable of overclocking the design. All should be available soon and have already been announced in PCs from Gateway, Sony, and numerous other PC makers.
Intel has also chosen CES as the venue for releasing its first non-Extreme Core 2 desktop processors based on Penryn. Core 2 Quad chips will be available at 2.5GHz, 2.66GHz, and 2.83GHz that all share the improved architecture; four dual-core models are also available, though Intel only lists three clocked at 2.66GHz, 3GHz, and 3.16GHz. These should be available by the end of January.