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'Arrandale' nearing release

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Intel's first 'Arrandale' 32/45nm Core i CPU+GPUs for laptops will debut during H1 2010, but the chip giant may be easing back on its introduction schedule.

Back in July 2009, roadmaps suggested seven of the processors would arrive during the first half of 2010, but the latest information from notebook makers, by way of a DigiTimes report, suggest only three will be released in that timeframe.

They are the 1.06GHz Core i5-520UM, the 1.06GHz Core i7-620UM and the 1.2GHz Core i7-640UM. They are said to be priced at $241, $278 and $305, repectively. That's when purchased in batches of 1000 CPUs - single-chip prices will be higher.

The chips will be aimed at the top end of the ultra-thin laptop market at which Intel is currently pitching the Core 2 Duo SU9400 and SU9600.

At Intel Developer Forum this past September, the chip giant claimed real-world tests show that Arrandale will deliver a significant speed lead over a comparably-priced Core 2 Duo system. Tests included importing photos and decompressing a 256-bit AES-encrypted file archive. Arrandale has extra instructions for processing AES algorithms, the basis for many data security products, including Microsoft's BitLocker.

When Arrandale ships, it will contain a 32nm processor. But its graphics core will be a 45nm unit that also includes the memory controller. So, unlike other 'Nehalem' architecture derivatives, the memory controller will here sit on the IGP die rather than the CPU die.

The three Core i chips will be dual-core parts that use HyperThreading to operate as four-thread devices.

The processors' IGPs will incorporate Clear Video HD, the next generation of Intel's video processing technology, which supports two HD video streams, allowing media player apps to do picture in picture. The IGPs will support DirectX 10 but not DX 11. ®

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