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Intel's 45nm shift will mean octo-core desktop CPUs

From 'Wolfdale' to 'Yorkfield'

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Intel isn't due to begin shipping processors produced using its 45nm process until 2008, but it's already naming the chips that will be made using the technology.

According to a list of upcoming Intel CPUs for 2006 and 2007 published by Tom's Hardware Guide, the ballooning transistor budget made possible by the 45nm process will be used to drive up L2 cache sizes.

'Wolfdale' and 'Ridgefield', for example, two dual-core, single-die desktop chips due 2008, will have 3MB and 6MB of cache apiece.

These should appear alongside 'Perryville' and 'Penryn', respectively single-core and dual-core mobile parts, the former with 2MB of cache, according to the report, the latter with 3MB and 6MB of L2.

On the server side, we have 'Hapertown', an eight-core Xeon with 12MB of cache shared between the cores. It doesn't look like we're going to see a desktop CPU with eight cores until 2008/2009, with the debut of 'Yorkfield', also sporting 12MB of cache.

The same timeframe will see the debut of the quad-core 'Bloomfield', but how much cache it will contain isn't known. The same question hangs over the 'Silverthorne' mobile processor, for which we don't even have a core-count yet. ®

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