Intel Showcases 32nm Westmere Desktop CPUs

The current recession has not prevented chipmaker Intel from implementing its tick-tock strategy and is likely to further increase the performance gap with AMD with the introduction of 32nm process technology.

Intel only introduced 45nm manufacturing last year and the products that were build with it have been spectacularly popular and a move to 32nm would see a 22 percent performance gain over the previous generation.

A working version of a 32nm CPU nicknamed Westmere was showcased with a 10 percent improvement on the oxide thickness (down to 0.9nm) and with a gate length of just 30nm.

Westmere products will come with an integrated graphics and memory controller as well as what Intel described as "advanced hyper-threading technology and AES acceleration"; this means better performance, less latency and cheaper production cost.

Intel has decided against a single chip product but rather a trio of chips on a single core (ed: surely that means another socket) in order to reduce defects and manufacturing costs.; a defective quad-core can be recycled as a dual core, a defective integrated CPU would be useless.

The first 32nm processors should come early next year with the Xeon likely to be the amongst the to be lipo-sucked (partly because they are the most expensive and also because they are the ones that need the most to be cooled).

Clarkdale on the desktop front and Arrandale on the mobile front are expected to be dual core models with four threads. Intel is also planning a 6-core, 12 thread processor called Gulftown which is likely to be followed by the company's first octo-core processor.

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Our Comments

AMD is in serious trouble if Intel's plans push ahead although the company has already started working on 32nm process development with IBM since 2007. AMD has just managed to catch up with Intel's Core 2 family and the 32nm migration will make things more difficult especially as Intel has yet to max out the current architecture.

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