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Intel 'Smithfield' to run 130W hot

Leaked thermal specs

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Intel's upcoming dual-core 'Smithfield' desktop processor will dissipate up to 130W of power - 13 per cent more than today's Pentium 4 chips - it has emerged.

The revelation comes from Tom's Hardware Guide (THG), which says it has seen internal Intel documentation covering Smithfield's thermal design power (TDP) characteristics.

According to the document, Smithfield will consume up to 130W and draw 125A of current up from the 115W and 119A specifications of the 5xx and upcoming 6xx series of single-core 90nm 'Prescott' P4s.

Smithfield will require more power than Intel's hottest burning CPU so far, the 1.6GHz Itanium 2, which has a TDP of 122W. The 3.46GHz P4 Extreme Edition consumes 116.7W.

THG assumes that Smithfield will be fabbed using a 65nm process and thus attributes the increased power requirement to leakage. However, it's almost certain that Smithfield is a 90nm part - Intel's first 65nm chip is expected to be the dual-core Pentium M, 'Yonah', and that's not due to appear in volume until Q1 2006.

Indeed, Smithfield may not even be a true 'two cores on one die' processor, but instead simply feature two separate Prescott cores wired together in a single package. Certainly, comments from Intel last year suggest that this may be the case. In a discussion with The Register at the time, Steve Smith, VP for the Intel's Desktop Platforms Group, would not confirm the exact nature of Smithfield's dual-core status. ®

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