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The metal gates are opened!
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Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 27 January 2007 09:55

Hardware
Life With "Penryn"
Kristopher Kubicki (Blog) - January 27, 2007 12:01 AM
DailyTech

The first official die shot of "Penryn"

Intel's high-k, metal gate transistors replace the silicon-based elements of the transistor with hafnium and metal composites
Intel confirms new details on "Penryn" family: SSE4, high-k dielectrics, metal gate transistors

A little more than six months ago we wrote an editorial about Intel's future technology after Core 2 Duo, titled "Life After Conroe." Life after Conroe inches closer, but, in the meantime, more details on the architecture are available today.

DailyTech had the opportunity to chat with Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow, and Steve Smith, Intel Vice President DEG Group Operations, about the upcoming CPU design.

The primary focus of Intel's next-generation process technology is Penryn. Penryn is the specific codename a 45nm shrink of the Conroe core, but the codename may also be used to describe the entire product family. Early last year Intel announced it would optically shrink to the next process node every two years. Staggered one year later, the company would also announce a new microarchitecture. This philosophy of shrink followed by architecture revision will undergo its first real milestone with the node shrink from 65nm to 45nm Penryn. One year after the 45nm Penryn shrink, Intel is also expected to announce its next-generation microarchitecture successor, Nehalem.

Intel claims the upcoming Penryn will fit 410 million transistors for the dual-core model, and 820 million transistors for the quad-core variants -- dual-core Conroe utilizes just 298 million transistors. Intel's 45nm SRAM shuttle chip, announced last year, had a little over 1 billion transistors and fit on a 119mm^2 package. However, the initial Penryn quad-core processors will use a multi-die packaging, so it's realistic to expect only 410 million transistors per die at launch....More

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