Dual-core Pentium M chips to debut in January

Laptop performance is set to get a shot in the arm, as Intel has announced that it will begin shipping dual-core Pentium M chips in January 2006.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  October 9, 2005

Laptop performance is set to get a shot in the arm, as Intel has announced that it will begin shipping dual-core Pentium M chips in January 2006. The new chips codenamed ‘Yonah’ will also be available as single-core processors and will be created using Intel’s 65nm chip fabrication process (whereas existing Pentium Ms are fabbed on the 90nm process). Besides this, the newer processors will feature enhanced SSE technology (for better multimedia performance) and improved floating-point (math calculation) performance. At present, the chip giant is differentiating the dual-core Pentium M CPUs from standard single-core chips by adding an ‘x’ before the model number. The 2GHz dual-core model for example will be known as the x40. However, a 2.26GHz single-core ‘Dothan’ chip is just known as 780. Both single-core and dual-core ‘Yonah’ chips and the low voltage variants will feature a wider 667MHz front side bus (FSB), whereas existing and older Pentium ‘M’ models feature either a 400MHz or 533Mhz FSB. However, ultra-low voltage ‘Yonah’ chips will feature a bus speed of 533MHz and should be available from quarter two of 2006. Compared with AMD’s Turion mobile processor, Intel’s ‘Yonah’ will lack 64-bit software support. Additionally, while existing AMD and Intel dual-core chips each feature dedicated L2 cache for each core, ‘Yonah’ processors will share the 2MB of onboard cache between both cores. Intel says its next generation of Pentium M chips – known as ‘Merom’, which are due for launch in the second half of 2006 – will feature a larger 4MB of cache, with each core having access to 2MB of dedicated memory. Additionally ‘Merom’ processors also are also expected to boast 64-bit support.

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