Intel Unveils 32nm Westmere-Based CPUs and Chipsets

intel-westmere1Intel was originally going to launch their first 32nm products from the Westmere family on Thursday at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show. A big keynote speech by company President Paul Otellini was heavily hyped as “a major news event”, and would’ve officially launched the desktop Clarkdale and mobile Arrandale CPUs.

That speech will still happen, but most of the details that enthusiasts have been waiting on are now available, including pricing. There will be seven Clarkdale CPUs and eleven Arrandale CPUs at launch, along with seven new chipsets. Sadly, none of the new chipsets feature support forUSB 3.0 or 6Gbps SATA, but motherboard manufacturers or Original Equipment Manufacturers may opt to add those features themselves.

The Westmere family is primarily a dual-core 32nm die shrink, but also features an integrated 45nm graphics chip on the same package. The integrated memory controller moves from the CPU die to the GPU die, which will boost memory access for graphics at a cost of higher latency for regular applications. There are also new instructions that will help with the encryption and decryption of data based on the Advanced Encryption Standard, named appropriately AES-NI.

Most of the new CPUs will feature Turbo Mode, which enables a dynamic overclocking of a core when only single-threaded applications are running. This enables the maximum performance available while staying within the Thermal Design Power (TDP). The frequency of the GPU in Arrandale CPUs can also be boosted in a similar fashion. Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology is also used in most of the Westmere chips to increase the productivity of each core.

Intel’s newest chips will be targeted squarely at mainstream consumers, as most enthusiasts will stay far away from integrated graphics. The exception will be in the mobile market, thanks to ATI’s switchable graphics technology. That will enable the use of the integrated graphics chip for less demanding graphics tasks at low power levels, but can dynamically switch to high performance discrete graphics chips for better performance when plugged into a socket or when selected by the user. ATI is expected to release a new series of 40nm mobile DirectX 11 graphics chips on January 7th to accompany the official Arrandale launch.

Moving the graphics chip on package means that Intel can eliminate the traditional Northbridge chip and its cooling, thus lowering costs for OEMs significantly. Eliminating such a large chip means that smaller motherboards are possible, in exciting new form factors.

Westmere chips have been in mass production since September at Intel’s D1C and D1D fabs in Hillsborough, Oregon using the new P1268 process. The company had been stockpiling chips in anticipation of demand, and sent the first batches out in November to OEMs for inclusion in the latest computer models that will be going on sale this week.

Enthusiasts will have to wait until the end of the year for the next-generation Sandy Bridge architecture for 32nm quad cores, but there will be a six-core 32nm Clarkdale-based chip codenamed Gulftown that will be available in the second quarter.

Computing

With no plans for merging operating systems, Apple opts to combine apps instead

Apple is working on combining all of the the apps it offers to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users by 2021. App developers will soon be able to build and submit one version of their apps to be used by Apple product users.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will be powerful, and they might be launched as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far, based on both leaks and the recent…
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Here's what you need to play games and watch movies in 4K on your PC

4K display tech is now cheaper than ever, but there's more to running stuff at such a high display resolution than just handing over the dough for a 4K-equipped display. Here's what you need to run 4K.
Computing

RTX might be expensive, but the 16 series could have the best Nvidia Turing GPUs

Set to debut at a step below the RTX 2060 on the price and performance spectrums, the GTX 1660 Ti and its other 16-series brethren could be Nvidia's killer mid-range cards of 2019 — especially with Tensor Core-powered DLSS.
Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Computing

Amazon takes $200 off Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air with retina display

Amazon is taking $200 off Apple's latest MacBook Air. This MacBook Air has 13-inch retina display, a built-in FaceTime HD camera, and that classic lightweight wedge shape the Air is loved and known for.
Deals

Samsung drops a solid $100 discount on the Chromebook Pro

If you're in the market for a new laptop, but can't afford to drop $1,000 on one of the best models out there, Chromebooks are an excellent option. Right now, Samsung is offering $100 off the Samsung Chromebook Pro.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.