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Intel names 'Penryn' launch date

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IDF Processors based on 'Penryn', Intel's 45nm architecture, will be formally launched on 12 November, the chip giant's CEO, Paul Otellini, revealed today. But what CPUs will the company announce?

Otellini wasn't expansive: "server and high-end desktop products," was all he would say at Intel Developer Forum (IDF) today, noting that more mainstream products would arrive in Q1 2008.

According to a report on Japanese-language site PC Watch, 12 November will see the debut of the 130W Core 2 Extreme QX6850, a four-core part running at 3GHz on a 1333MHz frontside bus and with 12MB of L2 cache on board, with 6MB shared by each core pair.

We should point out that Intel already offers a QX6850, fabbed at 65nm but with the same specs beyond that massive L2 cache - it has 8MB. The extra 4MB of L2 should at least give the 45nm part some advantage, so we reckon Intel will call it the QX6900, or possibly a much higher model number.

Why? Because the upcoming 45nm Core 2 Quad, due January, will go on sale as the Q9x00 range. The line up comprises the 2.5GHz Q9300, the 2.66GHz Q9450 and the 2.83GHz Q9550, all with four cores and 1333MHz FSBs. The Q9300 will hve 6MB of L2 cache; the Q9450 and Q9550, 12MB. All three consume up to 95W.

January will also see the introduction of the Core 2 Duo E8200, E8300, E8400 and E8500, clocked at 2.66GHz, 2.83GHz, 3.0GHz and 3.16GHz, respectively. Again, all sit on a 1333MHz FSB and contain 6MB of L2. They're rated at 65W.

Don't forget, the 45nm era Core 2s are expected to lose the 'Duo' and the 'Quad' monikers - we've used them here for clarity - as Intel focuses solely on model number to distinguish one chip from another.

It's those big model number jumps - from the E6x50 to the E8x00, and the Q6x00 to Q9x00 - that suggests to us the Core 2 Extreme chip may come in higher than QX6900 and certainly above QX6850.

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