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Intel 2006 Mobile CPU Roadmap Update

Intel just announced its plans through Q2'07 for mobile platforms. The new roadmap includes many details about the upcoming 65nm Merom processor, also called Core 2 Duo for notebooks. Merom, the successor to Yonah, will come in two main waves, or "refreshes."

The first refresh, expected this August, will primarily be used for the Napa Centrino platform already available. The second refresh of Merom is slated for the Q2'07 launch of Santa Rosa Centrino -- the eventual successor of the Napa Centrino platform. AMD is also using the Santa Rosa code name, but for a completely unrelated Opteron Socket F processor due this July. Intel first announced details of Santa Rosa at the Intel Developer Forum this past March. Intel's roadmaps do not confirm the use of Robson NAND technology, although it was outlined during the forum earlier this year.

The initial batch of 65nm Merom processors, part of the Core 2 Duo family, will run on a 667MHz front side bus. The second batch will use an 800MHz front side bus and another new socket design: Socket P. At the heart of this Santa Rosa platform is the Crestline series core logics. Crestline is essentially the same as Intel's 965 chipset, but specifically tailored for notebooks and low power applications. Like the 945 chipsets shipping in Napa platforms, Crestline will have a "GM" and "PM" component; one for integrated graphics and one without, respectively.

The Centrino platform will get a new WiFi chip to replace the 3945ABG chipset used in Napa platforms today. The chip, dubbed Kedron for now, will integrated 802.11a, 802.11g and 802.11n in the final production. The 802.11n commission is still working its way through final draft specifications, but by the time Santa Rosa is ready in 2007, the finalized specification should not be a problem.

A ship date has not been set for the new Merom CPUs yet, but we do know the pricing slated for launch. Intel has added a fifth bin CPU to the lineup since our last roadmap, giving Merom seekers the ability to snag the Core 2 Duo processor for under $210.

Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile
CPU Core clock, GHz FSB, MHz L2 cache, MB Price, $
Intel C2D T7600 2.33 667 4 637
Intel C2D T7400 2.16 667 4 423
Intel C2D T7200 2.0 667 4 294
Intel C2D 5600 1.83 667 2 240
Intel C2D 5500 1.66 667 2 209

Intel partners have confirmed to us that the Merom processors will require a BIOS update for the notebook when upgrading from a Core Duo Yonah system. Furthermore, Intel will still launch a Core Duo (Yonah) CPU this June 25th with a 2.33GHz clock. Notebook manufacturers will continue to use Core Duo processors in notebooks even after Core 2 Duo's introduction.

Intel's projections claim that by December of 2006 Merom will account for 35% of all Intel shipped mobile CPUs, and that dual core processors will account for 90% of all notebook CPUs.

Source: DailyTech

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