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Friday, March 14, 2008
First Quad-core Notebooks to Appear Later This Year

Intel is reportedly planning to launch its first quad-core CPU for notebooks, the Core 2 Extreme QX9300, in the third quarter this year.

According to specificatons that appeared online at HCEPC.com, the Core 2 Extreme QX9300 will have a core frequency of 2.53GHz. The CPU will come in a socket P package and support FSB speeds up to 1066MHz. The chip will include 12MB L2 cache and have a maximum TDP of 45W.

Intel's new 45nm chips will be priced at US$1,038 in thousand-unit tray quantities, according to sources in Taiwan. As a result, the Core 2 Extreme QX9300 will eqip the upcoming high-end notebooks, which are expected to become mainstream not earlier than the 2H of 2009.

CPU+ GPU Concepts

Speaking about next-generation notebooks, we cannot neglect the upcoming chips that will pack both a CPU and GPU processors on a single chip. These chips are expected to be the heart of the notebooks that will appear on the market not erlier than Q2 of 2009.

The concept was firstly introduced back in 2006 by Intel's rival AMD, at the company's 2006 Analyst Day. At that time, AMD's Chief Technology Officer Phil Hester unveiled AMD's plans to focus on a the CPU/GPU concept for future chips, claiming that "homogenous multi-core" chips would become "increasingly inadequate" over the next few years. The company unveiled plans for a new type of processor, which it calls "Accelerated Processing Unit" (APU). APU's are expected to be multi-core chips that include any mix of processor cores and other dedicated processors. APU's will also feature an integrated memory controller, and clearly indicate AMD's plans to leverage ATI's graphics technology as an integral part of future multi-core processors. AMD believes that APU's will bring more performance and increased power efficiency and as such, they are expected to be part of mobile devices in 2H of2009.

On the other hand, Intel has also plans to support a similar CPU/GPU combination project. Intel's chips will combine two CPU cores with an integrated graphics system based on the G45 processor. The chip for notebooks, called "Auburndale", will feature a DDR3-1333 memory controller and will be manufactured with the 45nm process, offering a 45~50 Watt TDP.

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