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CPU ROAD MAP 2008 Maxing Out Moore's Law 2007's big stories were Intel’s move from dual-core to multicore processors and AMD's move to 65 nm. We look ahead to see what's next for the dueling chip manufacturers. By Joel Santo Domingo and Cisco Cheng 11965, Gordon Moore made a bold pre Sction: The numberof transistors that can beplaced onan integrated circuit would Gouble approximately every two years. The industry pretty much stuck to this ‘maxim, known forevermore as Moore's “Law, But for the first rime in 43 years, i looks as though researchers will break the Jaw-—and tha’sa good thing, New manu facturing techniques enable chip design- ersto perform stunts Moore would never have thought possible in 965.anda theory originally proposed when achip'stransis- tors were numbered in the thousands is finally outdated now that they are mes- sured in the hundreds of millions. These new techniqueslet designers place 30 mil lion transistors in an aveano bigger than thehead of pin! ‘The much-ballyhooed Core proces- sor, which arrived in 2006 with around 300 million transistors, has heen quickly ‘outpaced this yearby multicore chips with transistor countsin the area of800 million. ‘And within the nextfive yars,advancesin lithography and stomic-levelengineering svi usher in ail greater leapsin compur- {ng povser. Where will we go from here? Desktop Chipsets By joel Santo Domingo 2007 was the year of the dual-core proces- sor, and 2008 will be al about the move to the 45-nm manufacturing process for Intel and the mave to three- and four core processors for AMD. The two companies continue down the road toward more cores on smaller chips, while stillimprov- 73 Hands On with Yorktiole 72 The Chips Behind the Code Names 75 Inen Years, ancl Beyond. 74 Intel Opens a Now Gato 74 Mobile Chipsets 75 Intel inside Your Phone Imagine a PC smaller than a Mac mini that can out-compute an overclocked dual-core tower from late 2007. It will happen in the next three to five years. ing performance, both perceived and space between components is measured Extreme processors (see our code-name measured. inatoms, The logicgates and other inter- glossary below). These units have sup= So what's the big deal abouta new — nalcircuits will beonlya few atoms wide, planted the Athlon FX as the go-to pro- ‘manufacturing process, and why is45 which could lead to several problemsthat cessor for ultimate performance. Current rm better than 2005's much-heralded 65-wewill discuss ater, Core 2s re built on 65-nm technology, nm die shrink? The new 45-nm process Another benefit of these next~ _ but the next-generation Penryn/Wolt- fs the next evolutionary step in CMOS generation CPUs is that they are capable dale (Duo) and Yorkfild (Quad) proces Ghort for complementary metal-oxide of “turning of?” individual portions thst sors willbe built using the 451m process semiconductor) manufacturing. Notonly _areaitbeing used. Notusingall four cores ‘These new processors are expected to will itallow chip manufacturersto pack —rightnow? Turn offeore*C and“D" for begin rolling out in late 2007 and continue the circuits in tighter, resulting in more some power and energy savings! This will throu 2008, transistors per CPU, it willalso allow fer lead toacoolercomputer,andacoolerPC “Today's Allendale and Kentsfielé more chips produced per silicon wafer, isaquieterPC. slike closingthe ventsin processors support 800-MHIz and 1,066- This will result in higher yields foreach the extra edroom thatyou don'tuse:Less MH? front-side bus speeds, respective standard 25ium-t0-300num wafer,and the power isusedto cool that unused room, so hut fomortow's Wolfdale and Yorktield chips willbe cheaper to prodnce. In fact, the others are more efficiently cooled, processors will have much faster FSB. inthe past 30 years,the price ofmanufae- Last but not least,thenew processors speeds—up to1333 Mliz. Later on down ‘uring onemilliontransistorshas dropped mean that PC makers willstart producing the line, the Yorkfield Core 2 Extreme from just over $106,000 to less than 5 _ smaller and more innovative PCs in the processors will sport a blazing 1,666- cents, and prices will only get e years to come. Imaginea PC smallerthan MHz FSB, Also, 12 cache sizes will ump. going forward, Mac minithat can out-compute an over- from the single 2GB caches in Allendale Let's put the die shrink into perspec- clocked dual-core tower from ate 2007.1 to dual 6GB eaches in Yorkfield. To put it tive, The original Pentiumprocesser. intro simply, this means that a whole lot of data duced in 1993, used the 800-nm (0.8 jrm) will move into and out of these CPUs. process. That’ almost an I8-fold redue- ‘The result willbe faster processing, even tion in14 years, Semiconduetor scientists though the clock speeds of the processors theorize that thenest stepsareto 32m Gn ‘won't be jumping up from the 24-GHzt0 either 2008 072009), 22mm berween 2011 over the CPU industry with the saccessfil_ 3.2-GHzlevelswe see now. The megahertz and 2012),and I6nm (sometime between Core 2Duo (code-named Contoe/Allen-maythhas run itscourse, (Overclockers can 2014and 2018). That's when manufactur~ dale), Core 2 Quad (the Gonroe-hased still heespeeted to push these processors ers willrun into problems: Atthatsize.the Kentsfield), andthe averclockable Core2 _ to4GHzor faster) CODE CHECK: THE CHIPS BEHIND ALL THOSE CODE NAMES In this story we throw alot of code names at you al at ance. Sol’ take @ look at them in chronaloaical order For products already on the marist. we also provide the chip's tue entity in parenthsces [DESKTOP | GONROEALLENDALE(Oxe | PENRTN-nexeerote Cen | MERALEM=dGemstconerio | MEAL snot Fino ourveoetgemonins | Reve never Eres) Per wouraAte- Fe ad tere pese erent en (ele? ten moons | wenow ie cos 010 SANTAROSAGPSET air | MOREA -baeoatoe owemorcewtsputern) | Eamon Penna mie pce foe ‘rsrIor | FARM AND ESanmerar | MARE acicor ems | YOUMAN-Upeare Tina | TRON tuDdaiaoRatam ) Enecrenfiowcar dace | Rhseaseatencr casas eager Pee IeOUA ieee ede wom awn sXaoesar | GRAF mea xin | LEONA ep resin ‘Sebi Pao (CPU ROADMAP 2008 Hands On with Yorkfield Recently, | received 9 package from Into. Inside was & new processor labeled as al intel reference parts are, “Intel Confidential” | quick'y popped the processor inta an ASUS ES motherboard running the X38 chipset and ciscoversd {2 quad-core CPU with 722868 of L2 cache. In other words, orks was in the house. Yorkie is the fist desktop ver sion of ntel's much-ballyhooed Penryn architecture, Built on the company’s new 45-nm manufacturing process, York fielo—aka the Intel Core 2 Extreme OX9650—is a Gud-core CPU with a1.383-MHz front-side bus, running at 8.0 GHe, ‘with SSE¢ instructions, The CPU consists of two dual-core: dies, each with 6M of L2 cache, bull into single package. ‘The combination of the GX9650 and the ASUS K38 motherboard was one of the easiest early tech releases to bring Up the ist time, There were no instalation hassles, though the motherboard did require @ BIOS update to recognize the new 45-nm CPU. Preliminary benchmark ing results showy the QX9650 running, en average, afew percentage paints faster than the older GXE850, which rung atthe same 3.0 GH2, The btest DiVK 67 encoder sup- ports SSE4 instructions. and we've seen a better-than-20 ‘arcont boost in encoding performance on a relatively low= ‘resolution MPEG-2 transcode, I likely that more strenuous HD transcoding will see better performance geins, SSE4 {dds a number of naw $8 (Streaming SIMD Extensions) Instructions, which are designed to improve media trans ‘coding and 3D graphics performance: Six ofthe seven ‘games we tested also sav some performance Increase ‘mostly the single-digit percentages. Thote gains are most likely dus to the larger L2 cache. Te CPU seems fo run pretty cod) toe: the CPU fan ‘doesrit seem to work very hard. We haven't checked out ‘overclocking performance yet, but we certainly expect to hit ‘hyo speed grades higher. shoul also adel that wee run- hing Super Talent DDRS memory rated to 4800 Miz, so well have to sea what the acidec memory bandulath brings to ‘our Overclocking efforts. Right now, we'e stil in the midst of furiously testing Yorkfilo, and you can check AC Megazine or ExtremeTech for full raviows soon Love Case Naysayers will wo doubt point out dhat the Yorkfield quad-core i just a pair of ddual-coredies fused togetherintoa single hip, burs improvement over Kentfield is likely assured, given the increase inL2 cache and FSB bandwidth (see the sidebar “Hands On with Yorktield” above) York field will also intraduce new multimedia instructions called SSE4, o improve per Jormanceon many tasks, including HDTV decompressionand playback. What's Next for intel Intel's now Hih-k Metal Gate technology tenses chat gelenelsts willbe able 10 con- tinue shrinkingintegrated circuitry ever IN TEN YEARS, AND BEYOND. the next several years, With the silicon dioxide currently used, electricity flow= ing through the logie gates in the CPU, and other chips, tend co “leak” over the sides ofthe yates leading to errors. These {gates and other components are only afew atoms thick so signalscan leak around the ‘edges ofthese minuscule electrical felds. Intel has made a fundamental change tothe recipe, with the element hafnium becoming a key ingredient in the High- k Metal Gate circuitry. This technology reduces current leakage, thereby reducing the power needed to drive the chip and enabling either higher clock frequenci ormore efficient power usage The next step for Intel in chip devel- ‘opment is Nehalem, which is scheduled for release in late 2008. (Not surpris: ingly these dates are subject to change.) Nehalem will continue to use the 45-nm process but will be based on the successor (othe Core architecture, Ina sense, Iatel could call it the Core 3 processor. Like AMD's Athlon chips, Nehalem will ave Integrated memory controllers, thus elim- inating the FSB entirely, This means that the CPU will talk tothe system memory natively at NDR3 speeds, Nehalem willhe offered in one-to eight-core versions for the desktop (and ikely or the notebook aswel). ‘We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but the next couple of decades could dramatically change computing. We lock forward to delving into these advances in future issues of PC Magazine 2014 Wireless chip integra- tien onto the CPU die and advance Systemeache size bigenoush torun ‘operating systems ‘Spintronies"technal- ‘ogy that changes the ‘uantum soln of eae trons Some calthis “quantumeompung. 2016 2018 2022 2027 Hybrie laptops with rola cells an thi Holographic process- Ina, wth advances projection technology, fallow users todo anny with splays 1 L8b TP iba sob lat