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Intel unleashes ‘Lynnfield’ Core processors

Chip giant Intel has launched its new Lynnfield processors, which bring the Nehalem CPU architecture to the mainstream market

Intel unleashes ‘Lynnfield’ Core processors
The Lynnfield processor family is Intel’s latest mainstream attempt and requires a different CPU socket to the more expensive Core i7 CPUs.

Intel has launched its new line of mainstream processors, codenamed ‘Lynnfield'. These CPUs are based on the Nehalem CPU micro-architecture and will be sold under the ‘Core i7' and ‘Core i5' brands.

Lynnfield CPUs feature an integrated dual-channel DDR3 memory, an integrated PCI-Express graphics controller and a Direct Media Interface which enables the chip to interface with the motherboard's chipset.

These CPUs also boast improved ‘Turbo Boost' technology, which enables individual CPU cores to run overclocked, to provide better performance under certain conditions. A Core i7-870 which normally runs at 2.93GHz will overclock itself to 3.6GHz if only one or two of its four cores are under load. If however all four cores are under load, Turbo Boost will overclock all four cores but to a lower frequency of 3.2GHz.

So far Intel has launched three Lynnfield processors; the Core i7 870, Core i7 860 and the Core i5 750. The new Core i7 chips can be distinguished from their higher-end counterparts via their model numbers; whereas Lynnfield Core i7 chips feature the 800 modeling scheme (860, 870 etc), the higher-end Core i7 models feature a 900 numbering scheme (920, 940 etc).

Beyond the model number differences the newer Lynnfield chips also feature a different CPU socket, known as LGA 1156, and require a motherboard featuring the Intel P55 Express chipset. This means the newer Lynnfield chips are not compatible with the vast number of existing LGA 1366 socket-based Intel X58 boards. Similarly, Core i7 LGA 1366 processors are not compatible with the LGA 1156 boards and Intel P55 Express chipset.

Lynnfield chips are currently produced using a 45nm manufacturing process though Intel has plans to produce these chips on the newer, smaller 32nm process in the near future.

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