Intel Core Family Sticks To Dev Roadmap
In keeping with their announcements at the most recent Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel yesterday announced the latest round of updates to their Core processor family. Arguably the most significant change to the new Intel Core i7, i5 and i3 processors is the 32 nanometer fabrication process used to manufacture them.
Thirty two nanometers is, in brief, really really small; some four orders of magnitude smaller than a human hair and an order of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Most technologists agree that semiconductor manufacturers are only one or two generations away from reaching the limits of current understanding as to how small a mass–manufactured transistor can be.
There are more than 25 products mentioned in the announcement, beside the new Core processors themselves, including Intel Centrino WiFi and WiMAX wireless adapters and Intel 5 Series Chipsets. The 5 Series is the company’s first single-chip chipset, which means all the functionality needed to build microprocesor–based product is baked right in, with no need for helper chips. The new family members also include Core and Xeon processors for embedded applications as appliance, automotive and medical products where the hidden “computer” is called on to perform a narrow and well defined range of tasks.
Intel’s Clarkdale Desktop Microprocessor
While the lower cost Core i3 is designed for price–conscious gear, the Core i5 and i7 include Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, a feature that allows a processor to run faster than its base operating frequency, if it's running below predefined power and/or temperature limits. This means that, if the user’s application mix requires higher performance, the processor can deliver by jacking up its clock as long as it stay within its limits.
In addition to offering support for dual–band and up to three streams of 802.11n (WiFi) networking, the new Centrino wireless adapter chips have one member that handles WiMAX as well. All the adapters support My WiFi Technology, Intel’s branded version of WiFi Direct, which allows users to turn their laptop into a virtual hotspot.
The Core processor family just keeps progressing along Intel’s well defined development roadmap. For the next round of introductions, IT pros should look out for vPro tech in the mix, providing integrated hardware-based security and enhanced maintenance and management capabilities.