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Intel pares 45nm Cores to prep for Sandy Bridge

Nov 16, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Intel is reportedly phasing out 21 different 45nm processors, paving the way for the release of its second-generation, 32nm Core CPUs code-named “Sandy Bridge.” Due in early 2011, the new CPUs will feature a revised microarchitecture, “next-generation” Turbo Boost technology, and visual performance rivaling discrete GPUs (graphics processing units), the chipmaker says.

The 45nm processors slated to be discontinued were listed earlier today in a Digitimes report by writers Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai. Intel will issue a total of 21 PDNs (product discontinuance notices) and EOL (end of lifecycle) dates next year, the authors say, though not every affected processor was listed.

According to Chen and Tsai, Intel already issued a PDN for two relevant CPUs, the Core i7-975x (3.33GHz clock speed and 130-Watt TDP), and the Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3.0GHz clock speed and 95-Watt TDP) earlier this quarter, and the EOL for these chips will take place in the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, they add, the Core i5-750 (2.66GHz, 95-Watt TDP) will see PDN in the first quarter of 2011 and EOL in the third quarter.

We have been unable to confirm this report independently, but Digitimes' Chen and Tsai are known to have multiple contacts among Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers, and their previous stories predicting moves by Intel have proven to be accurate. Their additional information regarding 45nm chips to be discontinued is summarized in the table below.

Model Clock speed Cores/threads TDP Planned PDN Planned EOL
Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5GHz 4/4 95 W 3Q 2011 n/s
Core 2  Quad Q9505 2.83GHz 4/4 95 W 3Q 2011 n/s
Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.86GHz 4/4 95W 3Q 2011 n/s
Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz 2/2 65W 3Q 2011 n/s
Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 2/2 65W 3Q 2011 n/s
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz 2/2 65W 2Q 2011 4Q 2011
Core 2  Duo E7600 3.06GHz 2/2 65W 4Q 2011
Pentium E6300 2.8GHz 2/2 65W already n/s
Pentium E6600 3.06GHz 2/2 65W 1Q 2011 2Q 2011
Celeron E3200 2.40GHz 2/2 65W 1Q 2011 n/s
Celeron E3300 2.5GHz 2/2 65W 1Q 2011 n/s

45nm CPUs planned for 2011 deletion
Source: Digitimes

Having detailed the planned processor deletions listed above, the Digitimes story then adds that Intel will launch "close to ten" new 32nm processors, including the quad-core Core i7-2600, Core i7-2500, Core i5-2400, and Core i5-2300, as well as the dual-core Core i3-2120 and Core i3-2100. As we report below, all these processors except for the Core i5-2300 have been named previously by other sources (though not by Intel itself).


At its IDF (Intel Developer Forum) last September, Intel provided preliminary details of its second-generation Core processors. The chipmaker said then that the 32nm "Sandy Bridge" offerings are scheduled for production later this year, and will be available in devices in early 2011.

Like the earlier Core CPUs (left) rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January, the Sandy Bridge processors are described as employing "cutting-edge 32nm processor technology with second-generation high-k metal gate transistors," but they also sport a "new microarchitecture," according to Intel.

The new Cores are claimed to deliver "enhanced visual features focused on the areas where most users are computing today: HD video, stereoscopic 3D, mainstream gaming, multitasking, and online socializing and multimedia." They'll include dedicated silicon for media processing, which includes transcoding HD video from one format to another, Intel adds.

Intel has also said the second-generation Cores will offer a new 256-bit instruction set known as AVX (advanced vector extensions), accelerating floating-point-intensive applications such as digital photo editing and content creation. They'll further offer a "next-generation" version of the Turbo Boost technology, which varies CPU frequency to maximize performance or conserve energy depending upon the type of instructions being executed, the company says.

At the IDF, Intel touted a "desktop low-power roadmap" that will see second-generation Cores with 65W, 45W, and 35W TDPs being targeted at "smaller, more stylish desktop systems." But, it failed to bolster this by providing any specific model numbers, clock speeds, or detailed power consumption data.

Model Cores/threads Clock speed/Turbo Boost L3 Cache Graphics speed/Turbo TDP
Core i7-2600K 4 / 8 3.4 / 3.8GHz 8MB 850 / 1.350MHz 95 W
Core i7-2600 4 / 8 3.4 / 3.8GHz 8MB 850 / 1.350MHz 95 W
Core i7-2600S 4 / 8 2.8 / 3.8GHz 8MB 850 / 1.100MHz 65 W
Core i5-2500K 4 / 4 3.3 / 3.7GHz 6MB 850 / 1.100MHz 95 W
Core i5-2500 4 / 4 3.3 / 3.7GHz 6MB 850 / 1.100MHz 95 W
Core i5-2500S 4 / 4 2.7 / 3.7GHz 6MB 850 / 1.100MHz  65 W
Core i5-2500T 4 / 4 2.3 / 3.3GHz 6MB 650 / 1.250MHz 45 W
Core i5-2400 4 / 4 3.1 / 3.4GHz 6MB 850 / 1.100MHz 95 W
Core i5-2400S 4 / 4 2.5 / 3.3GHz 6MB 850 / 1.100MHz  65 W
Core i5-2390T 2 / 4 2.7 / 3.5GHz 3MB 650 / 1.100MHz 35 W
Core i3-2120 2 / 4 3.3 / – GHz 3MB 850 / 1.100MHz 65 W
Core i3-2100 2 / 4 3.1 / – GHz 3MB 850 / 1.100MHz 65 W
Core i3-2100T  2 / 4 2.5 / – GHz 3MB 650 / 1.100MHz  35 W

Intel's upcoming "Sandy Bridge" desktop CPUs
Source: ComputerBase

The week before, however, the above list of planned Sandy Bridge CPUs had appeared on several websites, most of which attributed it to a site called MacBidoullie. As far as we were able to determine, the information actually originated from the German website ComputerBase, which later updated its list thanks to information from a Taiwanese site known as EXPReview.

Whatever its actual provenance, the list appears to be credible, and shows Intel adding a digit to the names of its 2011 Core processors — along with marginally higher clock speeds. As with the 2010 crop of Cores, TDPs range from 35 to 95 Watts. Graphics performance should be significantly better, however, since the integrated GPUs (graphics processing units) now benefit from the same TurboBoost mode as the CPUs.

Further information

The Digitimes story about planned deletions of 45nm processors by Intel may be found here.

The ComputerBase and EXPReview items listing Intel's Sandy Bridge processors for desktops may be found here and here, respectively. ComputerBase also listed six mobile Sandy Bridge offerings, with TDPs ranging from 35 to 55 Watts.

An earlier Fudzilla report about the new naming scheme for the second-generation Core CPUs may be found here.

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