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Intel talks Penryn, quad-core mobile chip due in 2008

post #1 of 81
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Looking beyond the launch of Santa Rosa next month, Intel on Monday previewed technology expected to turn up in a later refresh to the next-generation mobile platform and also touted a quad-core mobile chip due in 2008.

The world's largest chipmaker said the initial refresh to Santa Rosa will be based on a mobile Penryn processor, a 45-nanometer shrink of its current chip designs. The first of those chips are slated to hit production later this year and turn up in the Santa Rosa refresh during the first half of next year.

"We will be able to take Penryn, the 45-nanometer [chip], and plug it into exactly the same platform [that will ship in May] to enable a fast ramp," Intel's Mooly Eden said at a press conference ahead the company's Intel Developer Forum conference, which kicks off in Beijing tomorrow.

Also on Intel's roadmap is a quad-core Penryn mobile processor due for release sometime during the 2008 calendar year. It will reportedly be aimed at high-level gaming and mobile workstations, where users are willing to trade battery life for more performance. However, the chip is not expected to find its way into most notebook systems.

"You'll see it at the high-end, but I don't see it running so fast into the mainstream because I don't believe there will be enough threaded applications that will justify the tradeoffs," Eden said.

The architecture of the quad-core mobile chip is expected to differ considerably from Intel's current quad-core server and desktop chips, which essentially sticks two dual-core chips together. One possibility is a chip design having all four cores on one piece of silicon, which should increase speeds and use less energy.

"You can imagine that because we are speaking about notebooks that we have special constraints from cooling, from space," Eden added.

Intel's Spring Developer Forum runs April 17-18 at the Beijing International Convention Center in Beijing, China.

Photo of the Intel Penryn Die
post #2 of 81
Now everyone waiting for Santa Rosa Macs have reason to wait further.
post #3 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Now everyone waiting for Santa Rosa Macs have reason to wait further.

I was just going to say the same thing. These are the chips those with G4 books are waiting to upgrade to. Add to that a third version of Leopard and these systems will kick some real ass.
post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by g5man View Post

I was just going to say the same thing. These are the chips those with G4 books are waiting to upgrade to. Add to that a third version of Leopard and these systems will kick some real ass.

I guess my sarcasm didn't come through. People with g4 macs, IMO, ought to just go ahead and get a core 2 mac now. I don't see Santa Rosa adding enough to justify the wait and as I allude to, there's always something better on the horizon.
post #5 of 81
MacWorld has an aritcle with a bit more info on the new chips and Santa Rosa platform for those who are interested.

You can get it here.

I thought the stated goal of providing a Penryn-based quad core mobile processor that could go into a an iMac was exactly what a lot of people have been asking for, no???

Also, according to the MacWorld article:
Quote:
Underscoring how close these chips are to commercial availability, Eden showed off a laptop running a Penryn mobile processor at a press event ahead of the companys Intel Developer Forum conference, which starts in Beijing Tuesday. The product is pretty healthy, Eden said.

Seems we may be seeing these things faster than many expected.
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post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

MacWorld has an aritcle with a bit more info on the new chips and Santa Rosa platform for those who are interested.

You can get it here.

I thought the stated goal of providing a Penryn-based quad core mobile processor that could go into a an iMac was exactly what a lot of people have been asking for, no???

Also, according to the MacWorld article:

Seems we may be seeing these things faster than many expected.

I dunno; while Penryn is still scheduled for mid-late 2007, as the rumors and online guides have long suggested, they had also seemed to indicate that it was just the name of the mobile variant of the Core 2 Duo refresh (ie Merom -> Penryn, Conroe -> ?). Now though, all of a sudden Penryn refers to *every* chip in that refresh, and confoundingly, the mobile variant has been pushed back to 2008, with quad core even further out. This is especially confusing to me because I was expecting Nehalem to be out in late 2008. How can that be true now? Is mobile Penryn going to have a 6-month shelf life?

Also, Apple seems obsessed with small, light, quiet enclosures and battery life lately. Do you really see them going for this Quad Penryn in a laptop? Maybe iMac if it's quiet enough, but we may have to wait until Nehalem before we see more than 2 cores in an Apple notebook.
post #7 of 81
Seems like a perfect fit for the iMac where battery life is no concern but high performance in a small package is.
post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianus View Post

I dunno; while Penryn is still scheduled for mid-late 2007, as the rumors and online guides have long suggested, they had also seemed to indicate that it was just the name of the mobile variant of the Core 2 Duo refresh (ie Merom -> Penryn, Conroe -> ?). Now though, all of a sudden Penryn refers to *every* chip in that refresh, and confoundingly, the mobile variant has been pushed back to 2008, with quad core even further out. This is especially confusing to me because I was expecting Nehalem to be out in late 2008. How can that be true now? Is mobile Penryn going to have a 6-month shelf life?

Also, Apple seems obsessed with small, light, quiet enclosures and battery life lately. Do you really see them going for this Quad Penryn in a laptop? Maybe iMac if it's quiet enough, but we may have to wait until Nehalem before we see more than 2 cores in an Apple notebook.

As far as I know, and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, all of the first 45nm chips from Intel are code-named Penryn. Nehalem is the second generation of 45nm chips. At least that is my understanding.
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post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"...but I don't see it running so fast into the mainstream because I don't believe there will be enough threaded applications that will justify the tradeoffs,"

C'MON DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!

Get your multi-threaded butts in gear!
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I guess my sarcasm didn't come through. People with g4 macs, IMO, ought to just go ahead and get a core 2 mac now. I don't see Santa Rosa adding enough to justify the wait and as I allude to, there's always something better on the horizon.

The problem is that, even with sarcasm, the point was correct.

Waiting for Santa Rosa makes perfect sense.

And, even more importantly, knowing that Penyrn seems to be a drop-in replacement for Merom, on the Santa Rosa platfoem, makes it even more sense.

Santa Rosa will add up to 20-25% more performance over the current designs, if they do it right. That's worth waiting for.

Penyrn will add to that performance increase, while lowering the level of heat in the machine, and possibly increasing battery life. So, if you can drop one of those chips in later, that would be good.
post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianus View Post

Now though, all of a sudden Penryn refers to *every* chip in that refresh, and confoundingly, the mobile variant has been pushed back to 2008, with quad core even further out.

Like Merom, Penryn is the code name of the family design, and the mobile chip.

Merom family:
  • Mobile: Merom
  • Desktop: Conroe
  • Workstation: Woodcrest

Penryn family:
  • Mobile: Penryn
  • Desktop: ?
  • Workstation: ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianus View Post

and confoundingly, the mobile variant has been pushed back to 2008, with quad core even further out. This is especially confusing to me because I was expecting Nehalem to be out in late 2008. How can that be true now? Is mobile Penryn going to have a 6-month shelf life?

  • Napa: current platform, Merom 65nm mobile processor
  • Santa Rosa platform: first half of 2007, Merom 65nm mobile processor
  • Santa Rosa platform refresh: first half of 2008, Penryn 45nm mobile processor
  • + quad-core Penryn mobile processor to be released in 2008
  • New microarchitecture: 2008, Nehalem family, 45nm mobile processor.

According to this Intel slide.
post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianus View Post

I dunno; while Penryn is still scheduled for mid-late 2007, as the rumors and online guides have long suggested, they had also seemed to indicate that it was just the name of the mobile variant of the Core 2 Duo refresh (ie Merom -> Penryn, Conroe -> ?). Now though, all of a sudden Penryn refers to *every* chip in that refresh, and confoundingly, the mobile variant has been pushed back to 2008, with quad core even further out. This is especially confusing to me because I was expecting Nehalem to be out in late 2008. How can that be true now? Is mobile Penryn going to have a 6-month shelf life?

Also, Apple seems obsessed with small, light, quiet enclosures and battery life lately. Do you really see them going for this Quad Penryn in a laptop? Maybe iMac if it's quiet enough, but we may have to wait until Nehalem before we see more than 2 cores in an Apple notebook.

This isn't sudden. Penyrn has always stood for their first iteration of their 45 nm process. Just the way that Core, and then Core 2 stands for the 65 nm chips, exzcept for the very new, and end of process cycle 4 core chips.

Nehalem will be for the newer chips coming out somewhere in the first half of next year. The two will be around, and share developement for a while.
post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

C'MON DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!

Get your multi-threaded butts in gear!

They are working on it. It's one of the hardest areas in software development.
post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

... Penyrn seems to be a drop-in replacement for Merom, on the Santa Rosa platform....Santa Rosa will add up to 20-25% more performance over the current designs, if they do it right. Penyrn will add to that performance increase, while lowering the level of heat in the machine, and possibly increasing battery life. So, if you can drop one of those chips in later, that would be good.

I think the last part of your statement is the most interesting of possibilities for Apple: namely will they offer a CPU upgrade service for their Santa Rosa platforms when Penryn becomes available?

I could see that causing a lot of excitement if Apple offered it through their Genius Bars.
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post #15 of 81
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Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

I think the last part of your statement is the most interesting of possibilities for Apple: namely will they offer a CPU upgrade service for their Santa Rosa platforms when Penryn becomes available?

I could see that causing a lot of excitement if Apple offered it through their Genius Bars.

The only time I remember Apple ever doing that was when they moved to the PPC. I bought an Apple board to put into my 950 that let me dual boot into either a 68xxx environment, or a PPC one.

But, I don't remember Apple ever offering any others.

The advantage to having Intel chips is that you can always buy them retail, and insert them yourself (as long as it isn't soldered!!), or have a technician do it for you.

The disadvantage to Intel chips is that we can no longer get the almost infinite chip upgrades we used to enjoy up 'till the G5 series.

Normally, you can only move to the next higher chip on the same socket, which wasn't much. Now, you can put a 2 core chip in a 1 core socket, or a 4 core in a 2 core socket, as long as the chip exists for that socket. Better than nothing.
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

I think the last part of your statement is the most interesting of possibilities for Apple: namely will they offer a CPU upgrade service for their Santa Rosa platforms when Penryn becomes available?

I could see that causing a lot of excitement if Apple offered it through their Genius Bars.

They will never do it. In fact, they will most likely solder the chip to the board in order to prevent anyone from doing it. They want to sell more computers and upgrading CPU's enable people to hold onto their computers for much longer.
post #17 of 81
You call that technology? I could solder that thing by hand.

Just kidding.

So is this guy saying that Penryn will be pin-to-pin socket-compatible with Santa Rosa chips? If so then Santa Rosa WILL be a good time to buy... provided Apple doesn't freaking solder the chips into the board.

-Clive
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post #18 of 81
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Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post

Seems like a perfect fit for the iMac where battery life is no concern but high performance in a small package is.

My sentiments exactly.
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post #19 of 81
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Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

You call that technology? I could solder that thing by hand.

Just kidding.

So is this guy saying that Penryn will be pin-to-pin socket-compatible with Santa Rosa chips? If so then Santa Rosa WILL be a good time to buy... provided Apple doesn't freaking solder the chips into the board.

-Clive

That does seem to be what they are talking about. But, it is likely that Apple will solder the chip to the board in the laptops. It's the iMac where this takes on greater significance.

Unless Apple surprises us with the portable line.
post #20 of 81
Everything I read, and everyone I speak to thinks that the move to 45 nm is one of the most important to date, even more important that the move to 65 nm.

There seems to be a threshold that was passed with 45 nm. For Intel, it's Nehalem, for example. That's something they haven't wanted to do before now. With most of the problems of 65 nm solved, 45 nm will be able to do things that were only hoped for with 65 nm, but never accomplished.

One major area is cpu speed. We're beginning to see that rise again. And to those who think that it isn't important, think again.
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That does seem to be what they are talking about. But, it is likely that Apple will solder the chip to the board in the laptops. It's the iMac where this takes on greater significance.

Unless Apple surprises us with the portable line.

Let's hope Apple decides to surprise us.

This could alleviate some folks' concerns about the upgrade path for the iMac. If all you had to do to upgrade both the graphics card and CPU was to take it into an Apple Store and let them upgrade you, I think a lot of people might suddenly have a different opinion of the iMac.

Although the hardcore DIYs are going to whine even so.
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post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

Let's hope Apple decides to surprise us.

This could alleviate some folks' concerns about the upgrade path for the iMac. If all you had to do to upgrade both the graphics card and CPU was to take it into an Apple Store and let them upgrade you, I think a lot of people might suddenly have a different opinion of the iMac.

Although the hardcore DIYs are going to whine even so.

Well, that's true. There were never too many hardware DIY's for the Mac anyway.

But, here's an example of what 45 nm is going to do for our Mac laptops in 2008.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...s-in-2008.html
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Everything I read, and everyone I speak to thinks that the move to 45 nm is one of the most important to date, even more important that the move to 65 nm.

There seems to be a threshold that was passed with 45 nm. For Intel, it's Nehalem, for example. That's something they haven't wanted to do before now. With most of the problems of 65 nm solved, 45 nm will be able to do things that were only hoped for with 65 nm, but never accomplished.

One major area is cpu speed. We're beginning to see that rise again. And to those who think that it isn't important, think again.

Let's not overlook the new memory structures that are supposed to come with Penryn MBs. I have heard that Intel is going to look more like an AMD memory set-up. Supposed to be much faster and better able to feed multiple cores.
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post #24 of 81
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Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

Let's not overlook the new memory structures that are supposed to come with Penryn MBs. I have heard that Intel is going to look more like an AMD memory set-up. Supposed to be much faster and better able to feed multiple cores.

That comes with Nehalem. That will have the memory controller on the core, just as AMD has now. The chips will also bring back Hyperthreading.

For those who think that AMD will catch up with Barcleona, uh uh, it ain't gonna happen. At best, AMD will move closer, but then will fall further behind in 2008.

Just think, Intel has moved as far ahead of AMD as they have, WITHOUT using those technologies
post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That comes with Nehalem. That will have the memory controller on the core, just as AMD has now. The chips will also bring back Hyperthreading.

For those who think that AMD will catch up with Barcleona, uh uh, it ain't gonna happen. At best, AMD will move closer, but then will fall further behind in 2008.

Just think, Intel has moved as far ahead of AMD as they have, WITHOUT using those technologies

Oh well, I had hoped for the new memory controller on Penryn, but a Penryn Mac Pro is my next machine.

I am hoping for a November purchase, if not sooner.
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post #26 of 81
I got a G4 powerbook 12". It is STILL unrivalled when it comes to mobility and design in Apple's lineup. I'm still awaiting the next compact portable from Apple, be it a notebook, tablet or whatever. The current MacBook just doesn't cut it, too big, too heavy, graphics a tad too low, glossy screen.. no thanks. I hope the release of Santa Rosa involves some new compact Mac portable that can finally replace and outshine the legendary PowerBook 12".
post #27 of 81
post #28 of 81
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Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Now everyone waiting for Santa Rosa Macs have reason to wait further.

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post #29 of 81
apple should put a DESKTOP CPU in the I-mac and come out with a headless mid-range mac as well
post #30 of 81
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Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

apple should put a DESKTOP CPU in the I-mac and come out with a headless mid-range mac as well

I have a feeling Apple has thought about that. From what I know of this chips, Apple can either had a desktop CPU in the iMac -or- make the iMac quite a bit smaller now that it currently is.

However, I have a feeling that Apple will keep with the low-power processors and make the next iMac super slim. The reasoning, I think, is that customers look at appearance and want to know if it can run their programs. To a lesser extent they look at the speed of the processor. Most people buying an iMac aren't wondering what cryptic Intel names chip is being used.
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post #31 of 81
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I have a feeling Apple has thought about that. From what I know of this chips, Apple can either had a desktop CPU in the iMac -or- make the iMac quite a bit smaller now that it currently is.

However, I have a feeling that Apple will keep with the low-power processors and make the next iMac super slim. The reasoning, I think, is that customers look at appearance and want to know if it can run their programs. To a lesser extent they look at the speed of the processor. Most people buying an iMac aren't wondering what cryptic Intel names chip is being used.

Apple is also thinking about "quiet". A Conro, despite all of its virtues, is not going to be as cool, use as little power, or be as quiet.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AISI View Post

Like Merom, Penryn is the code name of the family design, and the mobile chip.

Merom family:
  • Mobile: Merom
  • Desktop: Conroe
  • Workstation: Woodcrest

Penryn family:
  • Mobile: Penryn
  • Desktop: ?
  • Workstation: ?

According to this Intel slide.

Not quite. The Core 2 family was Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest, the Core 3 will be Penryn, Wolfton, and Tigerton. I think that Nehalem will have a new name.
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post #33 of 81
Great news! Better technology is coming in the future!

This kind of post always makes me laugh a bit. They could announce any upgraded processor is coming out in a year and everyone would post the exact same responses.

It's at the same time comforting that yes, the future holds smaller and faster computers and yes, apple insider posts will never change!
post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius View Post

Not quite. The Core 2 family was Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest, the Core 3 will be Penryn, Wolfton, and Tigerton. I think that Nehalem will have a new name.

The one thing I miss about PPC is the simple naming convention IBM gave their processors.
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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The one thing I miss about PPC is the simple naming convention IBM gave their processors.

PPC970FX, PPC970MP, 7407?

That's hard. Bonus points if you can name the processors "Apple name".
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post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius View Post

PPC970FX, PPC970MP, 7407?

That's hard. Bonus points if you can name the processors "Apple name".

I should have made myself clear. I'm referring to the marketing names, not the internal naming convention.
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post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I should have made myself clear. I'm referring to the marketing names, not the internal naming convention.

Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Xeon.

I just think what you said is wrong.

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post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by donebylee View Post

MacWorld has an aritcle with a bit more info on the new chips and Santa Rosa platform for those who are interested.

You can get it here.

I thought the stated goal of providing a Penryn-based quad core mobile processor that could go into a an iMac was exactly what a lot of people have been asking for, no???

Also, according to the MacWorld article:

Seems we may be seeing these things faster than many expected.

I would love a quad laptop wih Santa Rosa and would be willing to get it even if it tick off the wife. Don't mind sleeping on the couch for a week to get this baby. LOL
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyj View Post

Seems like a perfect fit for the iMac where battery life is no concern but high performance in a small package is.

My laptop spends 98 percent of it time connected to a power source, if I need more battery I can get an extra one. CPU POWER is king.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

C'MON DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!

Get your multi-threaded butts in gear!

Its not the code, its the re-education of the developer. They need to think in a different way in order to break the problem in such a way that they can take advantage of multiple threats of execution. Thats the hardest part and then testing the code. Developing the code is not as hard most of it is the selection of the correct design. every paradine requires re-programming the brain.
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