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Intel roadmaps 6MB L2 Core 2 Duos?

One of the pleasures of the 45nm 'Penryn' core, apparently

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Intel's anticipated notebook-oriented 45nm Core 2 Duo processors, derived from the 'Penryn' core, have begun to appear on the chip giant's roadmap, debuting in Q1 2008, according to the latest leak. Some versions may incorporate 6MB of shared L2 cache.

Penryn's arrival in the mobile market will see the release of 45nm incarnations of existing or soon-to-exist 65nm parts, including the upcoming Core 2 Extreme mobile gaming chips. These are due to debut in Q3 with the 2.6GHz X7800, followed in Q4 by the 2.8GHz X7900, according to roadmap data published by Japanese-language site PCWatch. Penryn will provide an updated X7900, the report suggests.

What's surprising is that the Penryn version has the same model number as the 65nm model, suggesting no performance increase. If that proves to be the case - Intel has a year to change its mind on the matter - the chip company will presumably be pitching the part's power-consumption advantage rather than the higher performance it delivers.

Similarly, the roadmap lists Penryn versions of the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T7700 and the 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo T7800, due to appear in 65nm forms this year in Q4 and Q3, respectively. Q2 will, of course, see the arrival of new versions of existing Core 2 Duos that support 'Santa Rosa', the next generation of Intel's Centrino platform, expected in May.

The roadmap lists the Core 2 Duo Penryns under the heading 'Penryn 6M', implying they will contain 6MB of L2 cache.

The low-voltage Core 2 Duo line is set to gain the 1.6GHz L7500 in Q2, a chip that will top the line until Q1 2007 when the 1.8GHz L7700 arrives. Q2 2006 will also see the debut of the 1.4GHz L7300 - it and the L7500 both use the new Santa Rosa interconnect, Socket P.

The ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo gets its Santa Rosa refresh in Q3, but there appears to be no spec change from Q2's new launches: the 'Merom'-based 1.2GHz U7600 and the 1.06GHz U7500, set to replace the current, 'Yonah'-based 1.2GHz U2500 and 1.06GHz U2400.

The Core 2 Solo ULV line makes the move to Merom in Q2 with the arrival of the 1.2GHz U2200 and the 1.06GHz U2100. Nothing is listed for the Core 2 Solo ULV, Core 2 Duo ULV and Core 2 Duo LV lines past Q2 2008 - will Penryn render them redundant?

The roadmap likewise lists no Celerons in Q2 2008, but before then we should see the 1.73GHz 530 in Q2 2007, the Santa Rosa-ready 1.86GHz 540 in Q3 and the 2GHz 550 in Q4. All these parts are Meroms. Ditto the 930MHz - yes, that's megahertz, so we're back below 1GHz - Celeron ULV 523 in Q3, replacing the Yonah-based 1.2GHz 443. So a higher model number despite the lower clock speed: it's all in the architecture, obviously.

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