San Francisco (CA) - Intel has opened its Fall IDF in San Francisco with a fireworks of initial announcements. The first 45 nm processors get a release date with a total of 15 such CPUs to be launched by year-end. Penryn's successor Nehalem will debut with the integrated memory controller "QuickPath" and 32 nm silicon has surfaced.
The company's first 45 nm processor based on the Penryn core will be officially introduced on Nov. 12. While there were no details available immediately, Penryn is expected to debut in dual- and quad-core desktop versions (with up to 410 million transistors) initially. The chip will be available earlier than generally anticipated and could beat AMD's 65 nm Phenom to the market. 15 new 45 nm processors are scheduled to be introduced by the end of the year and another 20 in the first quarter of 2008. In total, there will be more than 750 prodcuts integrating a Penryn process in the near future, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during his opening keynote.
"We expect our Penryn processors to provide up to a 20 percent performance increase while improving energy efficiency," Otellini said. He noted that two 45 nm fabs, D1D in Oregon and Fab 32 in Chandler, Arizona are in full production at this time.
The executive also announced that Intel's 45 nm processors and 65 nm chipsets would use halogen-free packaging technology beginning in 2008 in order to make these products more environment-friendly.
Intel also demonstrated Nehalem, the successor of Penryn, which apparently came out of the development fab only three weeks ago.
Nehalem will feature a new micro-architecture, which Intel claims is focused even more on power-efficiency. The CPU will be able to make real-time adjustments depending on the task it is running: Intel said that Nehalem can turn cores, caches and threads on and off dynamically along with the enabling/disenabling power states. The new processor will also catch up with memory architecture as Intel will debut an integrated DRAM controller called "Quick Path" with Nehalem.
Intel also provided a look into 2009, showing off a 32 nm wafer with functional SRAM chips. There was no further detail provided on these processors, but Intel appears to be ahead of its production scheduled as the company has typically shown first SRAM of a new production process in the month of January in even years. As previous generations, the 32 nm test chips incorporate logic, but now house more than 1.9 billion transistors, according to the manufacturer. The 32 nm process uses the company's second-generation high-k and metal gate transistor technology.