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 15 October 2007
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 Dr. Adrian Wong
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The Intel Yorkfield

We have more exclusive news from the Intel grapevine. This time we have juicy details on the upcoming 45 nm processors that Intel will be launching to take on the threat of the AMD Phenom processors.

Model

L2 Cache

Core Clock

FSB

TDP

Core 2 Extreme QX9650

6 MB x 2

3.0 GHz

1333 MHz

130 W

Core 2 Quad Q9550

6 MB x 2

2.83 GHz

1333 MHz

95 W

Core 2 Quad Q9450

6 MB x 2

2.66 GHz

1333 MHz

95 W

Core 2 Quad Q9300

3 MB x 2

2.5 GHz

1333 MHz

95 W

As promised earlier, Intel will launch their 45 nm processors by the end of this year. In fact, we have been told that the launch date had already been set at November 12, 2007, so mark your calendars.

However, it is pretty obvious that Intel is in no real hurry to launch their 45 nm processors. In fact, our source claims Intel will only launch one processor at the November 11 launch. This will be none other than the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad-core processor.

Code-named Yorkfield XE, the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 will be a quad-core processor built from two 45 nm Wolfdale processor dies. It will displace the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (Kentsfield) processor as the top desktop processor model until Q3, 2008.

The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 is quite similar to the QX6850 model it is replacing. Both have two separate dies with separate L2 caches and run at 3.0 GHz with a 1333 MHz FSB. But thanks to its larger 12 MB L2 cache, the new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 will be 5-10% faster than the QX6850 and up to 60% faster when running SSE4-optimized code.

The choice of the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 as the first and only processor slated for a 2007 launch is significant. Not only is Intel choosing to deliver a quad-core processor first, they are also choosing to launch what will be their top-of-the-line model up till Q3, 2008. By flagging off the new generation of 45 nm processors with the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor at the forefront, Intel is indirectly demonstrating the maturity of their 45 nm processors.

In January 2008, Intel will release the new quad-core Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 series of processors. The first three to be released will be the Core 2 Quad Q9550, Q9450 and Q9300. The first two processors will have two 6 MB L2 caches while the Q9300 will only have two smaller 3 MB L2 caches.

 

The Intel Wolfdale

Model

L2 Cache

Core Clock

FSB

TDP

Core 2 Duo E8500

6 MB

3.16 GHz

1333 MHz

65 W

Core 2 Duo E8400

6 MB

3.00 GHz

1333 MHz

65 W

Core 2 Duo E8300

6 MB

2.83 GHz

1333 MHz

65 W

Core 2 Duo E8200

6 MB

2.66 GHz

1333 MHz

65 W

According to our source, the dual-core Wolfdale processors will not be released this year. It will only be launched on January 2008, at or around the same time as the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 series of processors.

As we had been told earlier that Intel is already rolling out these processors in quantity, the reason for this delay is obvious. Intel does not see a significant threat to their Core 2 Duo processors, not until the AMD launches their triple-core Phenom processors in early 2008. Therefore, it makes sense for them to schedule a later launch.

The dual-core Wolfdale processors will be known as the Intel Core 2 Duo E8000 series. Intel will release the E8500, E8400 and E8200 in January, followed by the E8300 later in Q2 2008.

All Intel Core 2 Duo E8000 processors will have a 6 MB L2 cache and a 1333 MHz FSB. The top model (until Q3 2008) will be the Core 2 Duo E8500 with the clock speed of 3.16 GHz. It displaces the Core 2 Duo E6850 which runs at 3.0 GHz and has a 4 MB L2 cache.

 

Important Update

Our source just clarified a few points with us. The initial November 11 date we mentioned earlier was not the launch date. It was really the date Intel set the price for the processors to be launched. The 45 nm processors will be launched on November 12. This was confirmed by Pat Gelsinger (Sr. Vice President and GM, Intel Digital Enterprise Group), whom I had the opportunity to talk to just a few hours ago.

The November 12 launch will include server-grade processors like the quad-core Xeon code-named Harpertown (12 MB L2 cache, TDPs of 50W, 80W and 120W) and a dual-core Xeon code-named Wolfdale-DP (6 MB L2 cache, TDP of 40W, 55W and 80W). The other 45 nm Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors mentioned above may or may not be announced during the Nov. 12 launch but their actual release dates are confirmed to be in January 2008.

Now, let's take a look at the leaked roadmap and pricing before going on to some benchmark results.



Next Page : The Roadmap, Processor Pricing >>>

 

 
   
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