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Intel Goes Multicore At 64

San Jose, Calif. — Intel Corp. will roll out a next-generation Pentium architecture geared for energy-efficient, multicore processors at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco next week.

The company will not provide details until chief executive officer Paul Otellini's Aug. 23 keynote speech. But observers expect Intel to roll out a version of its notebook Pentium M architecture updated for 64 bits and geared for multicore implementations. The architecture ultimately will find its way into desktop and server CPUs.

"This is a paradigm shift," said Nathan Brookwood, analyst with Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.). "Historically, Intel would design a desktop processor and tweak it for notebooks and servers. The seed of the next generation will be from the mobile, not desktop, group."

The shift essentially puts Intel's mobile design teams in Israel at the head of the queue for concepts that are then fed to desktop and server teams in the United States. "Right now, the Israeli design approach is sweeping through Intel," Brookwood said.

The new architecture is expected to continue power-savings concepts of the Pentium M, like using shorter pipelines than the desktop Pentium 4, as well as shortcuts to launch common instructions. It will also transition the Pentium M from 32 to 64 bits. Finally, it will provide a more thoughtful approach to multicore than Intel's initial products, which sometimes simply put two die in a common package.

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