Intel shows off new 32nm processors

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Intel held a little press event today to discuss their near-term processor roadmaps and showed off a couple of test systems running sample processors from the upcoming die-shrink to 32nm. 

Since it was a tech demo and little else, there are obviously no benchmarks of the new platform.  Of note, however, is the upcoming release table for the Nehalem and Westmere processors.  While it looks like we aren’t going to see any more high-end CPUs from Intel until after the die-shrink happens (read: no price drops), we will be getting a few quad-core chips in the mainstream portion of the market.

Obviously, however, the really interesting bits happen after the release of chips based on the updated fabrication process.  Firsly, we can expect to see six core consumer chips based on a 32nm process.  Hopefully we’ll see these sometime in the latter half of this year.  In addition to the very high-end CPUs, we’ll finally see Intel release a dual-core desktop chip based on something newer than the Core 2 Duo platform.  The real kicker is that the new chips will have two cores, a memory controller and integrated graphics, all on die.  The graphics subsystem is reportedly flexible, allowing for switchable systems to be implemented.

The real question is, what happens with AMD?  While the new Phenom II processors are no slouch, holding their own and then some against Intel’s Core 2 Quad chips, this may spell trouble.  AMD is slated to launch their own chips with graphics baked in, but the release date keeps getting pushed back.  If the new Westmere-based CPUs from Intel show anything like the jump in performance the Core and Core 2 based systems showed, AMD could be facing some serious trouble.

Further reading:

Intel press kit



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