Intel has started production of the first samples of its quad-core processor codenamed Penryn. Such a processor offers faster clock speeds and also larger cache sizes. According to Rob Willoner, technology analyst at Intel, “Our first Penryn chops are in the pipeline right now and we expect to begin supplying manufacturers shortly. Based on the same microarchitecture as the Core 2 Duos, Penryn is the first Intel processor to be built using the 45-nanometer process. The chip will be available in laptop, desktop and server versions.
Currently, most of Intel’s chips are made using the 65nm process. Using a more advanced process means that the size of each transistor is reduced, allowing more of these elements to be used in each piece of silicon.
Additionally, smaller transistors also require less power and are generally faster as well. Penryn chips will hit the market throughout the second half of 2007. In addition to faster processor speeds, quad-core chips will consume less power compared to current Intel products, and will also offer more features such as instructions. add-ons for multimedia and for applications with high performance requirements.