Intel To Launch Next-Generation Chips In January


Intel will launch its first 32-nm Core i3 and i5 processors, as well as new i7 chips, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month

Intel is preparing to launch a number of new Core processors for desktops and notebooks at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show 2010 in January.

At small events in New York and San Francisco on 17 December, Intel officials gave reporters a taste of what the chip maker will launch at the CES, which runs 7-10 January, 2010, in Las Vegas.

Intel will release new Core i7 chips, and release the first of its i3 and i5 processors, and i7 dual-core processors, built on the company’s 32-nanometer manufacturing process, though the officials at the New York event declined to say how many new chips would be rolled out.

Intel officials at the San Francisco briefing reportedly said there would be 17 new chips released in January.

The “Arrandale” and “Grantdale” processors are all shipping now and will begin appearing in new computers in early 2010. Intel has invested more than $7 billion (£4.3bn) in the United States in 2009 on four factories used to build the 32-nm products.

At the journalist events, Intel also had several systems on display that were powered by the new chips. Several systems were running animated movies and video games, showing off the graphics capabilities of the new chips.

Karen Regis, director of consumer client marketing for Intel’s Consumer PC Group, said the new family of processors will come with a host of features, including Hyper Threading, while the i5 chips will offer Turbo Boost, which enables processing cores to run a little faster when the demand arises.

Intel also will introduce a Turbo Boost application that will enable users to see how the technology is working as they run applications. The application puts an indicator showing core power levels appears on the system‘s screen as a workload runs.

“It lets [the user] see what Turbo Boost is doing for them in real time,” said Zane Ball, director of desktop platform marketing for Intel’s PC Client Group.

The new chips also will come with Intel HD graphics, a 45-nm graphics chip integrated with the CPU. The current quad-core Core processors, rolled out in the fall, offer discrete graphics capabilities.

Ball said improvements in the integrated graphics will enhance the Core chips’ high-definition video and audio capabilities, as well as 3D performance, Ball said.

Regis said demand for high-end graphics is growing, with consumers not only playing video games on their PCs, but also editing photos, voice and music content.

Ball and Regis also touted the on-chip memory controller, another new feature that has come with Intel’s “Nehalem” architecture, as well as per-core power management, which will shut down power to cores that aren’t being used.

However, there was some information they were declining to release, including chip frequencies and prices. Those will come when Intel makes its announcements on 7 January at CES, first at an early-morning press briefing and later during CEO Paul Otellini’s keynote address.

Intel sees a PC market that will be driven by the consumer side more than businesses, with Regis saying that after a flat 2009, the PC market is set to start growing again in 2010, thanks in part to Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system.

“Beginning next year, we’ll see the commercial [sector] recovering,” she said.

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