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Windows boots on "Penryn" Tape-Out
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Written by Gizmo   
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 13:53

Intel's tapeout of the first 45-nm slicon, dubbed "Penryn" has apparently gone so well that it will actually boot Windows, according to DailyTech.  Supposedly, this is a huge milestone as no-one at Intel expected first-run silicon to be this close to fully functional.  There is speculation that this huge success could result in Intel pulling in the release date for Penryn even sooner than originally forecast.

Even if Intel doesn't pull in the Penryn launch, they will be going to the 45 nm process node at least a year ahead of AMD's plans, thus keeping significant competitive pressure on AMD.  If Intel were to launch Penryn ahead of schedule, that would increase the pressure on AMD even more.  Despite AMD having finally transitioned to the 65 nm process this past December, it is not expected to reach 65 nm production crossover until March, roughly a year after Intel.

However, there is more to having a good CPU than just the size of the manufacturing process.  IBM recently announced that the Power6 CPU, due in the second half of this year on a 65 nm process, will achieve speeds over 5 GHz.  This has fueled some speculation that AMD's K8L architecture, due in the first half of this year , might also be able to realize substantial boosts in clock speed, in addition to the already speculated improvements in core performance .

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