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Thursday, February 22, 2007
Intel Promises 3GHz Quad-core Chips This Year


Intel announced on Wednesday that it will introduce its 3.0GHz Intel Xeon "Clovertown" chips in the second half of this year. In addition, the company will swift to the 45nm manufacturing process for server and workstation products during 2007.

The news were revealed on Wednesday at Intel's conference call with analysts. Kirk Skaugen, Vice president of Digital Enterprise Group and general manager of Server platforms Group, Intel Corp. announced that the company plans to release new 3.0GHz Intel Xeon Clovertown chips in Q1 of 2007. The quad-core chips will feature a 50-watt thermal design. In addition, Intel will launch its "Caneland" server platform in Q3 of 07 and the first 45nm Xeon DP (dual processor) chips in the second half of the year.

An improved version of the current Intel Xeon 5000 series of chipsets for the HPC (high-performance computing) market is also expected to be available in the second half of 2007. Featuring 1600MHz FSB, the new chipset will support the upcoming 3.0GHz Clovertown processors. Current Intel models offer a 1333MHz FSB. The new chipsets will also feature a larger snoop filter, which reduce processor latency and minimize system bus congestion.

Intel's aggressive plans to release new quad-core chips are expected to face fierce competition from AMD's quad-core products due to launch this year, although AMD is expected to clock its new processors at 2.80GHz or less.

Kirk Skaugen also referred to Intel's next-generation process technologies. A new 45nm microarchitecture called "NEHALEM" is expected to be applied in 2008. Its 32nm derivative will be called "WESTMERE" and it is scheduled for 2009-10, followed by the "GESHER" 32nm microarchitecture sometime in 2010. Unfortunately, no further information was provided in this area.


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