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Intel lengthens first-gen 'Nehalem' CPU shelf life?

Lynnfield, Havendale debuts delayed

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Intel's roadmap continues to show the arrival of its next-generation processor architecture, 'Nehalem', in Q4 this year, but the latest update shows that subsequent versions of the chip may appear later than anticipated.

A report on Japanese-language site PCWatch has the gen. It shows Intel's second-gen desktop Nehalem, codenamed 'Lynnfield', appearing in H2 2009, probably in the third quarter of the year.

Lynnfield was first roadmapped for an H1 2009 release. It's a quad-core part and incorporates HyperThreading to allow it to appear to an operating system as eight cores. It has 8MB of L2 cache and supports DDR 3.

So does 'Bloomfield', the first desktop Nehalem chip. But unlike Bloomfield, Lynnfield will integrate a PCI Express controller, allowing it to connect directly to a graphics card, just as it connects directly to main memory thanks to an integrated memory controller. Bloomfield has a memory controller too, but will rely on the 'Tylersburg' chip to connect to a system's PCIe bus.

Also officially down as due for release in H2 2009, but possibly appearing a little later than Lynnfield, is 'Havendale', a dual-core Nehalem that will sport an integrated graphics core, linked in through the on-die PCIe controller.

Both Lynnfield and Havendale are expected to use an LGA1160 interconnect.

Lynnfield will supersede Bloomfield as the bases for future Core x Extreme and Core x Quad processors, while Havendale will become the Core x Duo on the desktop.

'Clarksfield' and 'Auburndale' are the mobile equivalents of Lynnfield and Havendale, but as yet their status on the roadmap isn't known, but they're expected to debut in the same timeframe as the desktop chips.

Further out we have the six-core 'Westmere', Intel's 32nm die-shrink of the 45nm Nehalem design. Originally, roadmapped for H2 2009, it's now down as H1 2010, according to PCWatch. A delay? Possibly, but since Intel has only ever publicly committed itself to releasing Westmere in 2010, part of its regular "tick, tock" release strategy, the roadmap change simply means we're unlikely to see the part ahead of time.

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