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Intel's new desktop chipsets (Click to expand)

Intel's new mobile chipsets (Click to expand)
Enthusiasts left in the cold, for now

Intel was originally going to launch their first 32nm products from the Westmere family on Thursday at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show. A big keynote speech by company President Paul Otellini was heavily hyped as "a major news event", and would've officially launched the desktop Clarkdale and mobile Arrandale CPUs.

That speech will still happen, but most of the details that enthusiasts have been waiting on are now available, including pricing. There will be seven Clarkdale CPUs and eleven Arrandale CPUs at launch, along with seven new chipsets. Sadly, none of the new chipsets feature support for USB 3.0 or 6Gbps SATA, but motherboard manufacturers or Original Equipment Manufacturers may opt to add those features themselves.

The Westmere family is primarily a dual-core 32nm die shrink, but also features an integrated 45nm graphics chip on the same package. The integrated memory controller moves from the CPU die to the GPU die, which will boost memory access for graphics at a cost of higher latency for regular applications. There are also new instructions that will help with the encryption and decryption of data based on the Advanced Encryption Standard, named appropriately AES-NI.

Most of the new CPUs will feature Turbo Mode, which enables a dynamic overclocking of a core when only single-threaded applications are running. This enables the maximum performance available while staying within the Thermal Design Power (TDP). The frequency of the GPU in Arrandale CPUs can also be boosted in a similar fashion. Intel's Hyper-Threading technology is also used in most of the Westmere chips to increase the productivity of each core.

Intel's newest chips will be targeted squarely at mainstream consumers, as most enthusiasts will stay far away from integrated graphics. The exception will be in the mobile market, thanks to ATI's switchable graphics technology. That will enable the use of the integrated graphics chip for less demanding graphics tasks at low power levels, but can dynamically switch to high performance discrete graphics chips for better performance when plugged into a socket or when selected by the user. ATI is expected to release a new series of 40nm mobile DirectX 11 graphics chips on January 7th to accompany the official Arrandale launch.

Moving the graphics chip on package means that Intel can eliminate the traditional Northbridge chip and its cooling, thus lowering costs for OEMs significantly. Eliminating such a large chip means that smaller motherboards are possible, in exciting new form factors.

Westmere chips have been in mass production since September at Intel's D1C and D1D fabs in Hillsboro, Oregon using the new P1268 process. The company had been stockpiling chips in anticipation of demand, and sent the first batches out in November to OEMs for inclusion in the latest computer models that will be going on sale this week.

Enthusiasts will have to wait until the end of the year for the next-generation Sandy Bridge architecture for 32nm quad cores, but there will be a six-core 32nm Clarkdale-based chip codenamed Gulftown that will be available in the second quarter.





Desktop Processors

Core Clock

Max Turbo

Cores / Threads

L3 Cache

TDP

Pricing

Intel Core i5-670

3.46GHz

3.76GHz

2 / 4

4MB

73W

$284

Intel Core i5-661

3.33GHz

3.60GHz

2 / 4

4MB

87W

$196

Intel Core i5-660

3.33GHz

3.60GHz

2 / 4

4MB

73W

$196

Intel Core i5-650

3.20GHz

3.46GHz

2 / 4

4MB

73W

$176

Intel Core i3-540

3.06GHz

N/A

2 / 4

4MB

73W

$133

Intel Core i3-530

2.93GHz

N/A

2 / 4

4MB

73W

$113

Intel Pentium G9650

2.80GHz

N/A

2 / 2

3MB

73W

$87































 

Mobile Processors

Core Clock

Turbo

Cores / Threads

L3 Cache

TDP

Pricing

Intel Core i7-620M

2.66GHz

3.33GHz

2 / 4

4MB

35W

$332

Intel Core i7-640LM

2.13GHz

2.93GHz

2 / 4

4MB

25W

$332

Intel Core i7-620LM

2.00GHz

2.80GHz

2 / 4

4MB

25W

$300

Intel Core i7-640UM

1.20GHz

2.26GHz

2 / 4

4MB

18W

$305

Intel Core i7-620UM

1.06GHz

2.13GHz

2 / 4

4MB

18W

$278

Intel Core i5-540M

2.53GHz

3.06GHz

2 / 4

3MB

35W

$257

Intel Core i5-520M

2.40GHz

2.93GHz

2 / 4

3MB

35W

$225

Intel Core i5-520UM

1.06GHz

1.86GHz

2 / 4

3MB

18W

$241

Intel Core i3-430M

2.26GHz

2.53GHz

2 / 4

3MB

35W

TBA

Intel Core i3-350M

2.26GHz

N/A

2 / 4

3MB

35W

TBA

Intel Core i3-330M

2.13GHz

N/A

2 / 4

3MB

35W

TBA

 

 

 

 



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45nm GPU?
By quiksilvr on 1/4/2010 2:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, how come thsi GPU isn't 40 nm like the GPUs available on AMD's graphics cards? Or better yet, why can we cut down CPUs to 32 nm and not GPUs? I've always wondered that...




RE: 45nm GPU?
By HotFoot on 1/4/2010 2:51:28 PM , Rating: 5
Intel has classically made use of their already bought-and-paid-for previous-generation fabs to make chipsets. I think the formula is something like northbridge on the n-1 generation and southbridge on the n-2 generation. For 32 nm, that would have put the northbridge at 45 nm and the southbridge at 65 nm. They've moved most northbridge features on-die is all.

I'm not sure what Intel plans to do with their n-1, n-2 and n-3 fabs as they integrate more and more on-die. When everything is made only with the latest fab, that leaves a fab running for 2 or 3 years and then what?


RE: 45nm GPU?
By HotFoot on 1/4/2010 2:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
I mean they've moved most northbridge features on-package, not on die.


RE: 45nm GPU?
By HotFoot on 1/4/2010 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and it's not 40 nm because AMD and Nvidia are using a TSMC's 40 nm process, which is a half-node between 45 nm and 32 nm. Intel isn't using TSMC - they're using Intel.


Hillsborough?
By tcid on 1/4/2010 4:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's just Hillsboro, BTW. Other states may spell it Hillsborough, but not in Oregon.




RE: Hillsborough?
By bpurkapi on 1/4/2010 10:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
People always say our towns and streets wrong too. To be from a relatively unknown state... sigh.


RE: Hillsborough?
By TheEinstein on 1/5/2010 8:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well I am wondering when Cornell Oaks, and a few other of the fabs will be needing to go under extensive renovation, Ronler Acres can probably handle a lot of the new stuff.

I did security at all Intel campuses in Beaverton/Hillsboro back in the mid 90's, so yes I know them pretty well.

And yes, quit mangling my States name!!!!! It's OR EH GUN, nothing else, just OR EH GUN, say it with me OR EH GUN, yes that's the proper pronunciation of Oregon! YAY!


ICE COLD
By 13Gigatons on 1/5/2010 7:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
1. Priced to high.

2. Performance not that great.

3. Core i5 750 = $149.99 right now for quad.




A Tad Disappointing
By blargsoup on 1/13/2010 2:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
i7 was disappointing because of the way it was gouging enthusiasts

This crap is disappointing because of the way that my socks are not rocked off




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