Intel Takes Nehalem Mobile With New Core i7 Chips


Intel released the first three Core i7 mobile processors based on its Nehalem microarchitecture Wednesday, including an Extreme Edition chip for notebooks that is priced at $1,054.

The Core i7-920XM Extreme Edition is a 45-nanometer, 2.0GHz chip that includes Nehalem-class features seen in earlier desktop and server variants of Intel's next-generation microarchitecture, such as Turbo Boost and hyperthreading for its four cores.

The initial lineup of mobile chips, formerly code-named Clarksfield, also includes the 1.73GHz Core i7-820QM, priced at $546, and the 1.60GHz Core i7-720QM, priced at $364.

Intel has made faster quad-core mobile processors -- the Core 2 QX9300 Extreme is a 2.53GHz chip that costs $18 less than the new Core i7-920XM. But the Turbo Boost feature on the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant's Core i7 mobile parts allows users to switch off two or three cores and jack up the clock speed on the others. That means the Core i7-920XM easily can be taken to 3.2GHz, according to Intel.

"The Clarksfield is the best quad-core, dual-core and single-core microprocessor, all in one," said Mooly Eden, general manager of Intel's PC Client Group, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

"We can take the extra headroom from shutting off cores and put it on running cores," Eden said, extolling the advantages of Turbo Boost technology for mobile processors. He said the new processors are "ready to ship" for gaming notebooks, multimedia systems and mobile workstations.

Kicking off Wednesday's activities at IDF, Intel also introduced its new PM55 Express chipset for high-end workstation and gaming laptops -- hardware with increased I/O interfaces that supports Intel's Matrix Storage and hi-definition audio technology.

Eden and Intel Architecture Group boss Dadi Perlmutter talked up the "cool factor" of technology on day two of IDF in a wide-ranging talk on mobile computing.

Pledging to deliver "the coolest laptops on the planet," Perlmutter sketched out the near future of Intel's road map for mobile processors and platforms. Mainstream notebook processors, code-named Arrandale, due out before the end of 2009, introduce the market to Intel's upcoming 32nm process technology.

The following year, Intel will roll out its Moorestown platform for Atom-based netbooks and mobile Internet devices, while also building its global WiMAX networks around the world to better connect those devices to the Internet, Perlmutter said.