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IDF Spring 2005 (Part II)
By CPU-zilla
Category : Events
Published by Jimmy Tang on Saturday, 5th March, 2005

Two Brains Are Better Than One

IDF this year seems to have its focus on one major announcement, and that is Intel’s latest dual core technology. In fact, that’s about the only consistent trend you see in every major announcement, ranging from desktop products extending all the way into the server space. The roadmap ahead is a challenging one for Intel, and Intel has shifted a lot of its focus to continue pushing their processor’s performance by means of parallelism rather than brute force frequency bumps. Of course, frequency scaling would continue with every generation of process technology, but we’ll probably not see it scale as quickly as before.

On the desktop side, Intel will introduce two new dual core processors targeted for release in the second quarter of this year. The highest speed variant will be called Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840. The new processor is almost like two Prescott cores glued together as its transistor count is double that of Intel’s Prescott, totaling 230 million altogether. It will run at 3.2GHz and it will come with 1MB L2 cache in each of its core. According to Intel, the new Extreme Edition 840, under certain workloads, would run more than two times (2x) the speed of the recently released 3.73GHz Extreme Edition processor. Although the Extreme Edition 840 is clocked lower and running at only 800MHz FSB, it’s probably the doubling of the logical processors that gave it the performance boost.

A lesser “extreme” variant for the performance mainstream segment would be the new Intel Pentium D Processor, formerly codenamed as Smithfield. The design of the core is similar to the Extreme Edition 840, but it will probably be introduced at a lower clock speed. The other significant difference compared to the Extreme Edition would be its lack of support for Hyper-Threading Technology. With the Extreme Edition, users would have four logical processors while users would only see two with the Pentium D.

Here's a quick summary of upcoming Intel Pentium processors:-

Upcoming Intel Pentium Processors
Processor Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition Intel Pentium D Processor Future Future
Codename - Smithfield Presler Cedar Mill
Micro-architecture NetBurst NetBurst - -
No. of Silicon 1 1 2 1
No. of Core 2 2 2 1
Hyper-Threading Technology Yes No - Yes
No. of Logical Processors 4 2 - 2
L2 cache 2MB total (1MB per core) 2MB total (1MB per core) 4MB total (2MB per core) 2MB
Front Side Bus (FSB) 800MHz 800MHz - -
Intel EM64T Yes Yes Yes Yes
Execute Disable Bit Yes Yes Yes Yes
Socket LGA775 LGA775 LGA775 LGA775
Process Technology 90nm 90nm 65nm 65nm
Transistors 230 million 230 million - -
Die Size 206mm² 206mm² - -
Chipset Intel 955X Express Chipset Intel 945 Express Chipset Family - -
Availability 2Q'05 2Q'05 1H'06 1H'06

New Pentium Processor logos. Left to Right: Pentium Processor Extreme Edition and Intel Pentium D Processor.

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