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Intel boss announces that next-generation Westmere chips already sampled to key partners

by Tarinder Sandhu on 16 April 2009, 09:28

Tags: Westmere 32nm, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Back in February Intel announced that its next-generation microprocessor, codenamed Westmere, was being brought in ahead of schedule. Westmere can be thought of as a reasonably minor architectural upgrade to present Nehalem but on a smaller manufacturing process - 32nm vs. 45nm.

During an earnings conference call, Intel boss, Paul Otellini, disclosed that Westmere chips have been sampled to around 30 laptop and desktop PC manufacturers for testing, intimating that silicon is in a healthy state in Q2 2009.


Looking back at the February roadmap, we see that the desktop version of Westmere will be known as Clarkdale, comprising of two cores with hyperthreading. The mobile variant, Arrandale, will ship with the same arrangement, but what marks out these chips from incumbent Nehalem-derived models is the presence of integrated graphics on the chip itself, sat alongside the CPU in a multi-chip module package.

The announcement of sampled Westmere silicon is a harbinger of widespread availability later on this year, we reckon, and we can expect to see the next real iteration of the mobile Centrino platform - Calpella, Centrino 3 - probably a quarter earlier than expected - now Q3 instead of Q4 2009.

What we're looking forward to is a thin-and-light notebook, weighing in at comfortably less than 2kg, powered by Westmere CPU and graphics. How will that play out against AMD and, indeed, NVIDIA's offerings?

Does Westmere's earlier-than-expected arrival pique your interest? We'd love to hear your thoughts.


HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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I'm interested in what this means for the performance desktop segment - there seems to be a big gap if lynnefield is going to be the only quad core chip on non-enthusiast chipset, yet it is only a 45nm chip and if 32nm is ahead of schedule it's going to have even shorter a product life as the 32nm dual core part replaces it. I can't think Intel would want to keep producing 45nm chips when they have a smooth 32nm process. So either they're leaving the performance desktop market to AMD, or there's something they're not telling us - a cut down quad core 32nm part for the perfomance mainstream perhaps?
kalniel
I'm interested in what this means for the performance desktop segment - there seems to be a big gap if lynnefield is going to be the only quad core chip on non-enthusiast chipset, yet it is only a 45nm chip and if 32nm is ahead of schedule it's going to have even shorter a product life as the 32nm dual core part replaces it. I can't think Intel would want to keep producing 45nm chips when they have a smooth 32nm process. So either they're leaving the performance desktop market to AMD, or there's something they're not telling us - a cut down quad core 32nm part for the perfomance mainstream perhaps?

If I was a betting man I would put money on lower-speed, fewer-core derivations of Gulfstown, probably coming in a bit early.

Take a look at this slide:

http://img.hexus.net/v2/channel/analysis/amdanalyst2.jpg

AMD's doing nothing much in terms of innovation for the desktop space in 2009 and 2010 if that slide is to be believed.
A quarter earlier than expected, perhaps, but when was expected?
Q4 2009. :)
Tarinder
If I was a betting man I would put money on lower-speed, fewer-core derivations of Gulfstown, probably coming in a bit early.
I think it'd have to come very early to plug the gap, and I don't see Intel engineering it to be compatible with the QPI-less P5x chipsets. Unless they drop the x58 like a hot potato…

Take a look at this slide:

http://img.hexus.net/v2/channel/analysis/amdanalyst2.jpg

AMD's doing nothing much in terms of innovation for the desktop space in 2009 and 2010 if that slide is to be believed.
It doesn't really need to - Deneb has a good enough architecture to compete in the performance desktop with the usual clock speed ramps over time.

Essentially, high end quad-core Deneb is going to fight dual-core clarksdale. Unless Intel really do stick around with 45nm production after 32nm is mature.. that's not something I'm really aware they've done before though. Why they don't shrink lynnefield to 32nm is beyond me.