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Nehalem chips for laptops could arrive in late 2009

Nehalem’s version for laptops, codenamed Clarksfield, “will be in production in the early second half of 2009,” as Intel indicated last Monday, without specifying when they will be commercially available. The company also did not clarify whether the reference to production meant volume production or limited prior production by processors.

In any case, the production schedule suggests that users might not see the Clarksfield processor until the end of the year.

Clarksfield will be produced using the same 45-nanometer production process that is also used in Intel’s current line of processors. The next chip will be at the heart of the next version of Intel’s Centrino processor package for laptops, called Calpella.

Nehalem uses a different design compared to the one used by Intel in current processors. The most significant improvement is the movement that combines the processor with the memory controller, and that connects the processor with the main memory in a single piece of silicon. This feature, which is available on rival AMD processors, should offer much faster access to data than is possible on current Intel processors.

Clarksfield is also expected to include more advanced power management features compared to Intel’s current laptop processors.