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Intel offers its vision beyond Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa upgrade will be based on a Penryn mobile processor, the name provided for the next 45 nanometer reduction over current Intel chip designs. The first Penryn chips will be introduced at the end of the year and the Santa Rosa update will hit the market during the first half of 2008.

According to Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s mobile platform group, “We will be able to take Penryn, the 45-nanometer chip, and insert it into exactly the same platform.”

To demonstrate how close such processors are to the commercialization phase, Eden showed a notebook running on a Penryn mobile processor during an exclusive press event ahead of the Intel Developer Forum Conference in Beijing.

When Santa Rosa hits stores next May (a processor defined by Eden as “the enhanced Core 2 Duo”), it will offer several possibilities that are not present in current Centrino systems. One of them will be the Dynamic Accelerator, capable of increasing the clock speed of a processor core above the frequency level while reducing the speed of the other core.

This operation increases the performance of the core while ensuring that the processor can continue to operate within the thermal limits predicted by Intel engineers, which is an important consideration to take into account when comparing the Dynamic Acceleration characteristic over the typical overclocking, where users raise the frequency of the processor beyond the level for which the system was designed, as indicated by Eden.

But Eden, who also wants to see Intel chips in high-end laptops, understands that some gamers and users seeking maximum performance will want to push their systems beyond the performance limits defined by Intel. For that market, Intel is preparing a mobile chip for gamers where overclocking is allowed.

According to Eden, “We have opened the design in such a way that the overclock can be performed, although it is the user’s responsibility to maintain the correct cooling. [del sistema]”.

Also on Intel’s product map is a quad-core Penryn mobile processor that will see the light of day throughout 2008, targeting mobile workstations, where users will seek the best performance over battery life.

The quad-core mobile chip will differ somewhat from the current quad-core chips used in desktops and workstations, where two layers of two cores overlap on a single chip, although precise details are lacking. . One possibility is that it is carried out on a single layer of silicon.