In January, Intel will officially begin the transition from the current 90 nm to the 65 nm processor generation with the desktop dual-core processor Pentium D 900 (“Presler”) and the mobile chips Core Solo and Duo (“Yonah”). Intel is busy informing financial analysts and journalists about the success it had with ramping 65 nm production, which, if we believe Intel, already has achieved the yield levels of previous mature process technologies.
In fact, Intel has begun developing the 45 nm process generation in its Oregon campus and already has initiated research on 32 nm, which is expected to be used for volume production in the 2009 time frame. Sources now told TG Daily and Tom’s Hardware Guide that Intel is working on at least 21 new 65 nm and 45 nm processors – 17 of which will be released between 2006 and 2008.
With the exception of the Itanium series, all of Intel’s new mobile, desktop and server processors will be based and derived from the 65 nm “Merom” core and its 45 nm successor “Penryn” in the foreseeable time. Merom will introduce Intel’s next-generation micro-architecture in Q3 2006 and spread out into a mobile part (Merom), a desktop chip (Conroe) and a server processor (Woodcrest). This 65 nm generation will bring 7 new processors, including “Kentsfield” – a desktop chip that will combine two dual-core dies within one processor package. According to sources, prototypes of Kentsfield were produced during this quarter; volume availability of the processor is scheduled for early 2007.
The 45 nm generation, named P1266, will bring “Penryn,” a Merom-shrink that delivers 3 to 6 MByte of cache to the mobile processor platform. A derivate of Penryn will be the desktop processor “Yorkfield.” As flagship for Intel’s desktop series, Yorkfield will integrate 8 physical cores and 12 MByte of cache. The processor is scheduled for prototyping in the third quarter of 2006 and is likely to be released sometime in 2008.