Leakage problem solved

By Charlie Demerjian: Thursday 18 August 2005, 13:54
EARLIER WE POINTED OUT that the 45nm shrink of Merom is going to be called Penryn, the Moldavian term for moldy Apple(1). The interesting thing is not about the chip itself, but the process. Since the 65nm process is on the verge of release, it means that this coming IDF, they will probably start talking about the 45nm process.

Think happy thoughts here people, from what several sources have told the INQ, the leakage problem is solved, and I mean solved, not lessened. This will be a massive gain for Intel, and unless AMD and IBM can match it, it will pretty much hand it the mobile space, not to mention anything else where power matters.

From what we have been told, the 65nm process is better than 90nm in leakage, but it is an advance, not an answer by any means. Sadly, the process breakthroughs can't be backported to 65 in a way that would do the same there. There are some other 45nm breakthroughs, and I am not using that word in lightly, in the yield area that will get sucked into 65nm. Expect improvements on this process over time, and then a huge leap at 45.

What does this mean? It means that until 45nm, Yonah will survive, the power draw of Merom is a little high for most low power laptop configs. Merom will get to 9W in a ULV dual core part, but Yonah is down at 5.5W, single core though. When Penryn hits, expect the power draw on the low end to go way down, and Yonah to be laid to rest.

So, if you hear gushingly good things about 45nm coming from IDF, believe it. If you hear anyone pooh-poohing Intel and its process tech because of the debacle that was 90nm, just point and laugh. This one will be very very good. µ

(1) I completely made that up, but do read a little into it.