Intel has outlined plans for its dual-core mobile processor, but refused to give any details about the desktop equivalent.
The company's first dual-core notebook product is codenamed Yonah. It will be a 65 nanometer version of the Pentium M processor and it will come with a new set of accompanying technology grouped under the Napa code name.
Intel did not specify whether Yonah would have the same architecture as the Banias and Dothan versions of the Pentium M. The Banias architecture was the original blueprint for the Pentium M processor, and Dothan was the code name for the 90nm version of that chip introduced earlier this year.
Yonah will have some things in common with Banias, but Intel is not disclosing specific architectural details right now, said Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group.
Intel has committed to get the chip out by the end of 2005, which means that the basic design will have to be completed within the next six months, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Insight 64 in Saratoga, California.
Yonah and Napa will succeed the Sonoma platform that is slated for early 2005. Sonoma includes support for DDR2 memory and improved integrated graphics in the Alviso chipset. Napa will address many of the issues that can affect mobile computing, such as battery life and security, Chandrasekher said. He declined to specify a time-frame for the Napa introduction, but Intel tends to roll out new chipset technology once every 12 months, putting Napa on track for 2006. It will also feature an updated version of Intel's wireless chip that will be called Golan.
Yonah will come with power-management technology that can shut down one of the processor cores if the application workload is light, Chandrasekher said. It will also feature Intel's VT technology for virtualisation and LT technology for security, he said.
The company doesn't plan to introduce VT or LT technology until Microsoft releases Longhorn, said Intel president Paul Otellini. Microsoft is currently expected to release Longhorn in 2006.
At the end of a demonstration at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel general manager Bill Siu offhandedly mentioned that one of the PCs used in the demonstration was running on a dual-core desktop processor. He called the processor an "engineering prototype" and declined to discuss its architecture, features, release schedule or even its code name, in sharp contrast to the way the dual-core Yonah mobile processor was unveiled.
Intel's plans to bring dual-core chips to its desktop, notebook and server processors in 2005 have been one of the central themes of the Intel meeting, but the company has not said very much at all about its plans for the Xeon and Pentium 4 processors based on the Netburst architecture. Intel is eventually expected to move away from the power-hungry Netburst architecture but it plans to keep that architecture for the first dual-core desktop and server chips, according to sources.