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Intel to 'drop Pentium name' with Merom, Conroe debut

Retired after 12 years?

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When Intel debuts its 'Intel Core' brand-name in July 2006, it will mark the end of the familiar Pentium name. Out too goes any distinction between mobile and desktop versions.

So claims Japanese-language website PCWatch.

It's not an unreasonable claim, however. According to the latest roadmaps to leak out of the chip giant, Q3 2006 will see the debut of 'Merom' and 'Conroe', two 65nm, dual-core processors pitched at mobile and desktop roles, respectively. Both are derived from Intel's next-generation architecture, which essentially takes key elements of today's Pentium M and combines it with features introduced with the Pentium 4's NetBurst architecture.

The new architecture, with is focus on performance per Watt, rather than raw horsepower, warrants new, distinct branding, and 'Intel Core' is it, the report suggests. Merom and Conroe are both likely to be made available in single-core variants, so their debut also provides a good launch point for Intel's upcoming Solo and Duo branding scheme.

How will Merom and Conroe be distinguished between each other? The former will undoubtedly be made available at lower power-consumption levels than Conroe, much as Intel today offers low-voltage and ultra-low voltage lines alongside its standard-voltage Pentium M CPUs. Again, claims that Intel will introduce a new numbering scheme, prefixing model numbers with E, T, L or U, depending on a part's power consumption.

It's not hard to imagine Merom being found in Intel Core chips T to U - ie. any one that consumes 49W or less - while Conroe will be E-class Intel Core chips (50W or more). ®

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