Computex 2009 |
Intel’s ‘Desktop 2010’ roadmap kicks off with its first 32nm processor headed for mainstream desktop PCs rather than high-end systems.
Intel’s first CPU to be built on the 32nm ‘Westmere’ process will sidestep the traditional first-gen target of servers and workstations and head straight for the desktop.
Rob Crooke, the chipmaker’s client veep, confirmed today that the Clarkdale processor “will be in manufacture by the end of this year and it will be a high volume mainstream product. We have four FABs (CPU fabrication plants) coming online for it”.
While this sets up Clarkdale for availability in PCs within the first quarter of 2010, it also means the 32nm processor could trail the release of its 45nm Lynnfield sibling by as little as six months.
Lynnfield, which is widely expected to be stamped with the Core i5
brand, rated but a brief mention during Intel’s sessions at this week’s Computex 2009 techfest, despite the exhibition floor being littered with vendors showcasing Core i5-ready motherboards built around the P55 chipset.
Both the processor and the brand are now expected to make their debut in late September at Intel’s annual developer forum in San Francisco.
Clarkdale will be support by the same 5-series chipset platform as Lynnfield and will likely be tagged as part of the Core i5 family. That means a significant boost to the world of desktops, but how will Intel seek to differentiate the two very different platforms when they hit the market so close together?
“Lynnfield is more of an enthusiast product” said Crooke. “Even though it’s on 45nm it has more cores, it’s a four core product”, he said, while Clarkdale will sport only two cores. In addition Lynnfield will be built for discrete graphics whereas Clarkdale will include integrated graphics baked into its primary chip package.
While the processor inside Clarkdale will be baked using 32nm technology it will still use the same Nehalem microarchitecture and two-chip design as the current Core i7, making it the ‘tick’ in Intel’s tick-tock strategy. The native 32nm ‘Sandy Bridge’ microachitecture is scheduled for release towards the end of 2010.David Flynn is attending Computex 2009 as a guest of Intel.