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Intel to detail next-gen chip design

Conroe to debut at Intel Developer Forum?

Intel will unveil its next-generation processor architecture in just under two weeks' time, the chip giant said today.

Due to ship in H2 2006, the architecture will result in "processors that are high-performance, energy-efficient and multi-core", the company said. "New form-factors" for PCs will be enabled, it promised.

The beans will officially be spilled on 23 August, when CEO Paul Otellini kicks of Intel's bi-annual Developers' Forum.

The show will also see Intel reveal more about 'Napa', the third generation of Centrino, along with its plans for enterprise desktop and server platforms, and for more domestic-oriented products.

The corporate and home roadmaps will undoubtedly be strongly influenced by Otellini's revelations. They, in turn, are likely to centre on 'Merom', the follow-up to the 65nm dual-core mobile chip, 'Yonah'. Merom is due to debut mid way through 2006, followed not long after by 'Conroe', a desktop version of the processor.

Conroe is believed to derive from today's Pentium M family, themselves an offshoot of the old Pentium III. Intel's next-generation architecture is believed to rely heavily on the Pentium M, but adapted to support HyperThreading and some of the more multimedia-friendly features introduced with the company's current architecture, NetBurst, found in today's Pentium 4 desktop CPUs.

As it stands, the Pentium M architecture doesn't lend itself to HT, for example, though Yonah will incorporate some NetBurst-esque features, including SSE 2 and SSE 3 support, Intel has already said. ®

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