Intel launches 32nm Core processors

Intel fires a broadside of Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 chips into the market, adding more integration at lower power
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor

Intel has launched 27 new Nehalem-based chips in the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 ranges, introducing 32nm and adding integrated graphics and Turbo Boost overclocking.

The chips, unveiled at CES on Thursday, are the first to use Intel's latest generation of silicon. They generally offer equivalent or better performance to previous versions, but at lower power consumption.

They were known before launch as 'Clarkdale' for the desktop versions and 'Arrandale' for mobile variants.

The chips are manufactured on the 32nm process, the successor to Intel's 45nm processor technology, and the release continues the company's policy of shrinking transistor sizes every two years.

The chips range in frequency between 1.06GHz and 3.46GHz. They are aimed at a range of platforms, including ultra-thin portable devices, laptops, desktops, embedded systems such as ATMs, high-performance displays and home servers. All but two of the new chips are hyper-threaded dual-core devices capable of running four threads simultaneously. The remaining two are eight-thread quad-core processors.

Both the Core i7 and Core i5 processors use Turbo Boost from Intel's Lynnfield architecture, which allows individual cores to run faster than normal if others on the same chip are using less power. Seventeen of the chips include Intel's first CPU-integrated graphics technology, which provides high-definition 2D and limited 3D functions without the need for an external adaptor.

Intel also announced three new wireless adaptors supporting 802.11n with Mimo (multiple input, multiple output) antenna configuration, plus one that combined 802.11n, Mimo and WiMax. Three of the four adaptors support 5GHz 802.11n, which is at the heart of another Intel initiative, Wireless Display or Wi-Di. This streams high-definition video over the air from a suitably equipped PC to a receiver box, which plugs into an HD digital display.

The first receiver box to support Wi-Di, made by Netgear and costing $100 (£60), will go on sale in the US on 17 January, the same day compatible laptops from Dell, Sony and Toshiba are made available. The Intel processors are available immediately.

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