Intel's Next CPU in 2007: Penryn

Intelis next generation CPU, the "Penryn," is a lower power, higher clock speed dual core CPU and is part of Intelis tick-tock product strategy to deliver new technologies and smaller process sizes in alternating years, according to Computerworld on Thursday.

The Penryn, scheduled to ship in 2007, reduces the process size down to 45 nanometers (nm.). To stop current from leaking between transistors, a new material is used in the gate electrodes, utilizing hafnium, the so-called high-k metal gate to provide better insulation.

In a promising trend, Ben Ames noted that, "The Penryn chip will also have better power management than previous Intel processors, with deeper sleep states than Core 2 Duo chips. Thanks to that efficiency, Intel plans to run its new chips faster than 3 GHz for desktop and notebook versions, reversing an industry trend of scaling back the processor speed in order to add more cores without creating too much heat."

Another important development is the recognition that many developers fail to thread their code to take advantage of multi-core processors. The Penryn will recognize single-threaded code, switch off the idle processor, and speed up the active one.

"Overall, the improvements will produce a dual-core chip that packs twice as many transistors into a space 25% smaller than Intelis equivalent 65-nm processors and uses equal or lower power," Pat Gelsinger, general manger of Intelis digital enterprise group said.