updated 07:30 am EDT, Mon June 29, 2009
Intel Clarkdale Moving Up
Intel may be accelerating the launch of its first 32 nanometer desktop parts to this year if claims circulated by mainboard producers are accurate. Its first dual-core processors based on the most recent Nehalem architecture, nicknamed Clarkdale, was originally thought to be shipping in early 2010 but is now said by DigiTimes to be releasing these processors late this year. Production would be limited at first but would already have 32nm chips overtaking Core 2 Quad processors in terms of volume.
Launch clock speeds and other details aren't available, although Clarkdale should inherit Nehalem's Hyperthreading technology and in some cases simulate a quad-core processor by assigning two instructions per core. Shrinking the chip assembly technology from 45nm to 32nm will allow either higher clock speeds without affecting power and heat or else can reduce those two at the same clock speed. Intel is reportedly interested enough in Clarkdale that it will account for 20 percent of all the company's processors and overtake most regular 45nm parts.
Why the processor line would move up isn't definite, although the change would hurt AMD, which has recently been regaining some of its lost market share and is lagging behind Intel in producing 32nm chips. Clarkdale would also permit smaller, more compact desktops without sacrificing speed.