LAS VEGAS Intel Corp. will lead with it strength as it comes to the Consumer Electronics Show Monday (Jan. 7), launching 16 new Penryn PC processors made in its 45nm process technology. Although the chips span everything from quad-core server CPUs to desktop and notebook chips, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini will focus his comments in a CES keynote on the mobile world of the personal Internet.
Intel's 45nm ramp is proceeding "beautifully," said Shmuel Eden, general manager of Intel's mobile products group. "The fact we are launching 16 new products in 45nm indicates the technology is very healthy," he said.
Five of the new chips will refresh Intel's existing Santa Rosa notebook platform, cranking CPU speeds up to 2.6 GHz while lowering power consumption to about 29 W. High-end notebook chips coming later this year will pull power consumption down to 25W maximum from 35W on some of the notebook chips today.
"This will accelerate the roll out of new [smaller] form factor designs," said Eden.
Indeed notebooks have been on a tear thanks to their built-in wireless capabilities, falling prices and the hunger for mobility. A recent Wall Street report suggested notebooks will outsell desktops in 2009.
In some areas, Intel is still behind archrival Advanced Micro Devices which currently offers a notebook chip set supporting 5 GHz PCI Express, H.264 decode in hardware and Microsoft's DX10 graphics. However an Intel 965 notebook chip set slated for later this year will provide the DX10 and H.264 support. In the meantime, Intel's latest CPUs support a new level of instruction set extensions for media acceleration, including an instruction to assist H.264 decode that Otellini will demonstrate at CES.
Separately, Eden said Intel has no plans to support in notebooks hybrid hard disk drives promoted by Microsoft. Intel's competing Turbo Flash modules are getting market traction. "We just exceeded our targets" for the flash modules, Eden said.