Intel goes all-in-one with next gen processors
Penryn and Nehalem sound like a heavy metal magician act, but they're the code names for Intel's new 45-nanometre process CPUs that'll be out in the second half of this year, and in 2008.
Intel's building on the existing, successful Core 2 architecture, adding features while keeping the power consumption at today's levels. We'll get the same amount of cores (two and four) but larger caches (6MB and 12MB) and slightly higher clocks speeds - Intel would only say "over 3GHz" yesterday.
There's a new power saving mode for the new processors, plus the opposite - a turbo booster that'll ramp up the speed of a single core when needed. Maths capabilities are also improved with a Super Shuffle Engine - I love that name - and new SSE4 instructions.
Penryn looks good by itself, but Nehalem really packs on the features: it looks like it'll have an integrated memory controller a la AMD, and also an optional graphics processor. That's right: video straight from the processor, instead of an add-on card.
When I went to the Intel Developer Forum last year, the integrated GPU was mentioned as the next move in integration, but it won't stop there: Intel is working on adding a network controller as well as the serial ATA storage controller to processors. In order to do that, the processors need to have fat internal bandwidth, hence all the talk about optical interconnects.