Intel appears to have hit a groove with its 32nm Clarkdale processors. Earlier this month, motherboard makers with the inside scoop reported that Intel had decided to axe its 45nm Havendale chips in favor of pushing 32nm Clarkdale chips in the first quarter of 2010. Those same sources are now saying Intel will begin mass-producing its 32nm chips in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Getting off to a big start, the company's 32nm Clarkdale processors are expected to account for 10 percent of Intel's total OEM desktop CPU shipments in Q4. By 2010, Intel expects that number to double to 20 percent.
Meanwhile, AMD is still looking to ramp up production in the middle of 2010 with mass production not expected until Q4 of next year, potentially putting Intel a year ahead of the No.2 chip maker.
How much are you willing to pay to upgrade to Windows 7? Microsoft thinks they know the answer. This week, the gang discusses the Windows 7 pricing announcement, comparing it to previous Windows launches and even the pricing of the other computing OS. Gordon clarifies Intel's new Core i3/i5/i7 branding structure, and Will gives his thoughts on the surprise acquisition of id Software by Zenimax. We also answer a few listener questions, and share the results of our Bing experiment. On top of that, Gordon delivers his weekly rant.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Rumors of Nokia’s entry into the netbook market have persisted since last year. The whole idea of Nokia entering the netbook market seems even more tenable now that Nokia and Intel have announced a new partnership. But Acer chairman JT Wang isn’t too bothered by the prospect of Nokia entering the netbook market. He further told Digitimes that PC vendors would gain more business from telecom providers. He believes PC vendors would become better poised – as compared to handset vendors - to do business with telecom providers within one year as the use of netbooks for accessing 3G services is becoming increasingly popular.
This partnership is a huge shot in the arm for Intel - which has been waiting for its chance to gain real traction in the mobile phone market - as it has found a huge customer for its mobile chipsets in the form of Nokia. Intel has also agreed to acquire a Nokia HSPA/3G modem IP license from Nokia. On the software front, they have resolved to give a push to open-source mobile Linux software projects.
In an effort to help save R&D costs for its own-brand motherboards, Intel will release ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) orders to Taiwan-based motherboard makers, with the first orders belonging exclusively to Foxconn, DigiTimes reports.
As it currently stands, Intel ships between 4-5 million units annually, but although the chip maker is reportedly looking to cut back, the company did say it will continue to design and develop motherboards, as well as closely cooperate with industry players in the motherboard market.
If it turns out to be true, the big loser in the new deal is Pegatron Technology, an Intel OEM partner which will stand on the sidelines for these new orders. Adding salt to the wound, Asus, Pegatron's biggest client, is looking to increase its outsourcing to other companies as well.
Development for 32nm is going well for Intel, so well that the chip maker has decided to axe its 45nm Havendale chips before they reached volume production and will make the move to the 32nm Clarkdale instead, according to DigiTimes. Havendale was originally scheduled to launch by the end of the year, but Intel will instead go forward with 32nm Clarkdale in the first quarter of 2010.
Citing sources at motherboard makers, DigiTimes says Intel also plans to mark several processors as EOL (end of life) in the second half of 2009 and through the first quarter of 2010. Among them will be the Core 2 Extreme QX9775, Core i7 940, and a bunch of Core 2 Quad, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs. The chip maker will also begin discontinuing both the Atom 330 and Atom 220 in April 2010.
Meanwhile, the sources say Intel plans to launch the Core 2 Quad Q9505S, a quad-core CPU designed specifically for all-in-on PCs.
By Intel's own admission, the chip maker's Core brand has a "mind boggling array of derivatives," a problem the company plans to solve by rebranding chips and simplifying its Core lineup. Going forward, the Core family will fall into one of three tiers: Core i3 (entry-level), Core i5 (mid-level), and Core i7 (high-level).
"It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits," spokesman Bill Cader wrote in a post on Intel's website.
Cader went on to say that Intel's upcoming Lynnfield processors will be labeled as either Core i5 or Core i7 depending upon the feature-set and capability. Meanwhile, Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name, Cader wrote.
"In the back half of this year you'll begin to see Core i5 and more Core i7s coming to market," said Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of corporate marketing at Intel. "Then by the first part of next year you'll begin to see Core i3, and i5, i7. Then the old names will get retired as those products get phased out."
Intel's upcoming 32nm Arrandale (mobile) will initially fall under Core i3, but will later spread to both Core i5 and i7. Celeron will still exist as a brand for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and Intel's Atom nomenclature isn't going anywhere. However, the Centrino moniker will be phased out as a PC brand and instead be used as a name for WiFi and WiMAX products.
Sun spent the past five years touting its Rock chip project. The Rock project has only yielded delays till now and the much vaunted UltraSparc server chip with multiple cores is still nowhere to be seen. But according to an unconfirmed report, which quotes sources privy to the sensitive details of the project, Sun has finally decided to cancel the Rock chip project. Sun had time and again claimed that the 16-core UltraSparc chip would turn the tide in its favor in the high-end server chip segment. One popular belief is that Oracle, which will soon acquire Sun, may have ordered the cancellation. The cancellation will help Sun trim its R&D budget.
ASRock, a subsidiary of Asus which made a name for itself offering hybrid AGP/PCI-E motherboards in the socket 939 days without a performance penalty, plans to release a netbook built around Nvidia's Ion platform. Or as ASRock wants to call it, a Multibook.
The 12.1-inch Multibook G22 will come with Intel's dual-core Atom 330 processor (1.60GHz), 2GB of DDR2-667 memory, Nvidia Ion graphics, 320GB hard drive (with support for up to 500GB), a 10-in-1 card reader, 1.3MP webcam, DVD burner, 3 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and a bunch of other connections.
At 3.3 pounds sans battery and over an inch thick, it might be tough to classify the G22 as a netbook, which seems to be just fine with ASRock.