SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Intel Corp. will release late next year a notebook CPU that combines two microprocessors with a graphics accelerator. Archrival Advanced Micro Devices says it will debut a similar chip in the architectural race to mix and match types of processor cores in a single product.
Intel demonstrated at the Intel Developer Forum here a notebook version of its new 45nm Nehalem processor called Clarksfield using four CPU cores. It showed an A0 first silicon stepping of the part booting Windows Vista.
Company representatives said a version of the device called Auburndale will also be available that has two processor cores and one graphics core. Both versions are slated for release in the second half of 2009.
An AMD spokesman said the company is on track to deliver the first of a family of what it calls "accelerated processors" late next year. The first product, code named Swift, will have both CPU and graphics cores and target notebooks, he said.
Intel did not say whether the graphics and processor cores would be on the same die or designed as a multichip module in a package.
One source close to both companies said the new Intel chips will likely be integrated, leveraging a new capability in the Nehalem line to support multiple clock domains on a single die. Both AMD and Intel are initially planning to integrate graphics cores that are relatively modest in performance, he added.
Observers generally see a move from homogeneous to heterogeneous CPUs as a key step in the evolution of multicore processors. AMD gained graphics, video and other media cores with its ATI acquisition. Intel has similar kinds of cores in its chip set group.
Both companies see an opportunity to reduce power consumption while boosting graphics performance with the integrated parts, something particularly useful for notebooks.