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Intel Launching 'Merom' Notebook Processor 201

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
Hans Pecheston writes "Merom, Intel's notebook processor, will be joining in the festivities at their upcoming launch event. This chip will continue to use the Core 2 Duo brand and should display additional improvements in performance and power consumption over the current chips. Intel has already begun to ship Merom processors to its PC customers and systems with Merom should begin to appear around the end of August."
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Intel Launching 'Merom' Notebook Processor

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  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @06:56AM (#15775123) Homepage

    They will be announced in a new line-up of MacBook Pros.

    • I think Apple will provide a new PowerMac line first.
      • Probaly all together. The Xeon and the Core 2 Duos (Conroe and Merom) are all being unveiled at the same time. Speculation is rife that the new MacPros will have the new Xeon (which is really a Core architechture processor too). Apple will make a big hooplah about the Mac Pro at WWDC, but I expect the upgrade to Core 2 to the existing line will just happen in due course without much fanfare.

        The Macbook and Mini will keep Yonahs, Macbook Pro will get Meroms, the iMac will have a Conroe and the MacPro wi
    • This will open up at least two new ways to win in John Siracusa's bingo [arstechnica.com]...
  • Inquirer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:00AM (#15775132)
    Interesting notes in Inquirer.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=23 055 [theinquirer.net]

    The unlimited RAM option looks like an interesting feature
  • Thursday... Intel plans to announce details about the branding strategy and systems that will appear with Merom processors
     
    So no actual details, so don't bother reading the article. This is not worth an article!
  • Meromonics (Score:5, Funny)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:01AM (#15775140)
    I guess the 'Moron' processor name was already taken
    • I think "Moron" is the person who thinks up names for all Intel processors. There hasn't been a name that made sense, since the 486. I think someone just found a dictionary of the most obscure and goofy words in existance that make no sense to anyone.

      Every time I hear "Celeron" I think celery, thats about as boring as it can get!
      • Re:Meromonics (Score:3, Interesting)

        by digitaldc (879047) *
        Every time I hear "Celeron" I think celery, thats about as boring as it can get!

        That's exactly what everyone I know calls them.
        Even adding the ubiquitous 'X' to form 'XCeleron' would have been better ;)
        • Even adding the ubiquitous 'X' to form 'XCeleron' would have been better

          I predict that in 20 years, all products will simply be called 'X'. There will be a lucrative business in replacing the 'X' key on keyboards. Then, all English words will be replaced by the trendy 'X'. X, x x x x x, x x x x x x x-x x. X!

      • Well, technically, he's a Latter Day Saint. Oh, wait. You said "Moron", with an "N". Never mind.
      • Merom is named after Meron, a town in Israel, where Intel designs and builds some of its mobile processors, such as the Core Duo and (I believe) Pentium M. Other mobile processor codenames include Dothan and Yonah, which are also Israeli. Intel has been active in Israel for a very long time, it was the location of their first overseas fab and they recently invested something like $5 billion in the country. Interestingly enough, Meron is in the Upper Galillee, and currently being shelled by Hezbollah. Two pe
        • You've got a few names mixed up. "Merom" means "high places" and is not named after any township. Also, the Intel design center is in Haifa at an industrial park named "Matam". This has nothing to do with the project name.
      • Because they can't trademark numbers for their product names, pure and simple.
    • by houghi (78078)
      I thought it was talking about the (note)book of Mormons.
    • Re:Meromonics (Score:2, Informative)

      by metushelach (985526)
      Meron is the name of the highest mountain in the Galilee in Israel, which is the area of Israel where Haifa is located, which is where the Intel R&D center that created this processor is located. Clear enough, or should I draw a flow-chart?
      • Re:Meromonics (Score:2, Informative)

        by PHPfanboy (841183)
        Just to clarify further:

        Meron is the mountain. Merom (with an M or mem) just means "Upper" as in Upper Galilee (Merom HaGalil). Very nice area in any case (though best to wait until our Lebanese friends have got bored with their fireworks display).

        Banias is a freshwater spring/ glade on the Golan Heights and site of an old greek temple . Well worth a hike in summer, though best to time it with a ceasefire.

        Yonah is the Hebrew version of Jonah (in Greek which was the first transliteration from the vernacular
  • Any chance of anyone making an ITX board to use one? It seems it would be well suited for that task too.
    • by cnettel (836611)
      Probably, as the current Meroms are close to compatible with Yonah, for which you can already buy ITX equipment. A new socket ("socket P"), FSB frequency and so on is coming in January.
  • by nxtw (866177) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:30AM (#15775245)
    My laptop came with a Core Duo (Yonah) T2300. The CPU is a little weak at times, so I'd like to upgrade to Merom when available. (The requisite BIOS update has been available for a few months now.) Does anyone know when I'll be able to buy one from a reseller such as Newegg?
  • by jht (5006) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:36AM (#15775269) Homepage Journal
    Traditionally, Intel chip announcements are "no-big-deal", but this is the first one of any significance in the Apple Era since the original iMac/MacBook Pro announcement in January. Traditionally, IBM and Motorola/Freescale only announced a G3/G4/G5 processor whenever Apple was ready to introduce a new model using it - since Apple was the largest PPC system maker, they had some clout in that area.

    In the Intel world, Intel announces a chip family and that day the big Wintel vendors are already showing off their prototypes of "about-to-ship computers using it. Apple can't be as close to the vest as they traditionally have been regarding their plans anymore - for instance, it's a no-brainer that they'll speedbump their systems anytime Intel ships speedbumped versions of the same chip. Also, the announcement of a Mac Pro is now seen as inevitable at WWDC, since the chips to power it are officially on the market. Unlike years past, the speculation is focused this year on the little details - Xeon or Core 2 Duo? Completely redesigned case or minor refresh? The fact of the machine itself is more of a done deal.

    Because this is the first WWDC in the post-Intel era, it'll be interesting to see what the buying trend is - for instance, I have one client who is holding off the two weeks until WWDC before buying either a G5 tower or Xserve - based on the system configs in play, that's about $40k in deferred revenue (on the other hand, another one just bought a G5 Quad). Part of the reason that Apple used to be so tight-lipped about announcements was to avoid these deferred purchases, so it'll be interesting to see what happens now.

    • But the Apple engineers will have more free time to... I dunno make the iPod even smaller (What's smaller than nano? Quantum?)
    • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @10:07AM (#15776141)
      Traditionally, IBM and Motorola/Freescale only announced a G3/G4/G5 processor whenever Apple was ready to introduce a new model using it - since Apple was the largest PPC system maker, they had some clout in that area.


      Well, that's wrong somehow... I think you either meant to say "Apple was the largest G3/G4/G5 system maker" or "Apple was the largest user of the PPC in desktop computers". The largest PPC system maker would be hard to pin down, but my bet would be either one of the car or printer manufacturers. PPC is all about embedded systems, Apple's use of them was just convinient fallout.

      Obviously IBM/Motorola only bothered to announce the G3/G4/G5 chips when Apple was ready to introduce a new model using them, because those are names for variations on existing PPC chip designs that were designed and produced on contract with Apple explicitly for their use. While they do refer to unique chips, they were all fairly minor variations (mostly just increased specs) on chips that the relevant maker had already created. The G5 is just a variation on IBM's established POWER4 line, for example. Apple chips have always been evolutionary, not revolutionary (even back in the 680x0 days).

      The only thing that's changed here is that you happen to be reading the press in which Intel chip announcements are published, while I'm betting that you never heard about all the developments in PPC chips over the past 20 years or so, except for the ones published by Apple.

      There's a big list of some of the stuff that uses PPC over here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerpc#Implementatio ns [wikipedia.org]. It's probably a toss-up between PPC and ARM as to which is the most common microprocessor architecture on the planet (this is notoriously difficult to estimate with any precision and there's the perennial question about whether or not you should count the PICs - but if you don't, most people will agree that it's one of those two, although they'll often argue about which). Apple has never been as important as their fanboys would like people to believe.
    • since Apple was the largest PPC system maker
      This is false. Apple's use of PPC was/is small compared to their use in embedded systems.
  • I do want to try out this "AMD killer" architecture but I'll wait for the dust to settle. Probably wait for Dec/Jan before getting a kit to use in my benchmarks.

    That and the name sucks. At least when you say T6600 or whatever you can get a sense of what it is [provided you know the model numbering which also changes too much]. Core 2 Duo ... how's that different from Core Duo?

    Also it's getting harder and harder to find official optimization guides/pipeline descriptions out of Intel. Or maybe I'm not loo
    • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:55AM (#15775367) Journal
      Core 2 Duo ... how's that different from Core Duo? from gur3d.com [guru3d.com]
      The key differences of the new architecture [Core 2 Duo] from the "ideologically closest" Intel Core Duo (Yonah) are as follows:
      * Improved instruction decoder extended to 4 decoders of x86 macroops (vs. 3 of Intel Pentium M / Core Duo)
      * 128-bit SIMD instruction performance of 1 instruction per clock in each execution unit (twice as faster as Yonah)
      * Improved memory operation and hardware prefetch mechanisms
      * L2 cache is dynamically shared by both cores depending on load (as seen in Intel Core Duo)
      * Further improved energy saving
      * A new SIMD instruction set SSE4.
      • I said "official". As in where are the optimization guides from Intel? Heck they barely cover PentiumM let alone Core and Core 2 processors.

        "L2 cache dynamically shared" is known as a "LRU scheme" over a fast front side bus [hint: both cores talk to the same cache ... they're going to bump into each other, even if the thing is dual ported].

        Tom
        • "L2 cache dynamically shared" is known as a "LRU scheme" over a fast front side bus [hint: both cores talk to the same cache ... they're going to bump into each other, even if the thing is dual ported].

          I was under the impression that the cache used a hybrid LRU/LFU scheme, but I could be wrong. As to the cores bumping into each other, a single core can bump into itself if it runs out of cache space. Sharing the cache doesn't mean that there is less, it means that it can be more efficiently used. If bo

          • ok first off, there can only be so many buses to the cache, chances are there are two, one for one half and one for the other half. They probably split the cache along ways that go into each others space [e.g., first use a way local to you then use the other].

            They're going to "bump into each other" when both cores try to access cache that is attached to the same bus.

            Also, while for a single process a shared cache sounds all nice and fancy, for many HPC tasks it's not such a hot idea. This alone will make
      • If you're going to mention the really not that significant new SSE4 extension, you'd better mention EMT64 too, which is a much more important extension (definitely in terms of transistor count). And Core 2 Duo not only has internally twice as wide SSE units, it also has one unit more (3 instead of 2, though not every unit can do everything).
  • by pathological liar (659969) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @07:48AM (#15775333)
    While I doubt anyone's going to have enough ram in a laptop to need 64bit pointers anytime soon, the extra general purpose registers will be nice.
    • I don't need 64-bit in a laptop. I do, however, fairly frequently need 33-bit or 34-bit pointers (virtual address space for mmap'd files). A 36-bit CPU would be enough, but a 64-bit CPU means you don't need to change the ISA every few years.

      This is the same philosophy as ZFS; no one is ever likely to need a 128-bit filesystem. Without resorting to quantum storage, you would need a hard drive the size of a planet if you encoded one bit per atom. If you used electron states for storing data then you coul

      • Memory size commonly used in desktop computing has increased around 3 orders of magnitude in the last 15 years. 2MB->2GB. HDD size has increased less than that. 1GB->500GB. I think that expecting a 10 order of magnitude increase in the next 5 years might be a bit optimistic.
        • It seems to me that memory size has plateaued. 1 GB was fairly big, but feasible 4 or 5 years ago. I just checked Compusa's website, and it looks like 1 GB of RAM is exactly the same price it was 2 years ago. And many mainstream systems are still shipping with 256 megabytes, which is pathetic but has been standard for about 4 years now, it seems to me.
    • Having >4GB of memory is easy today and 64 bit pointers makes that transparently usable to a single process without jumping through hoops. In a laptop chip it's going to take longer to get there but the current ones can already take 2GB so it should actually be pretty soon.
    • Not to nitpick but 64bit aint all about stuffing more ram in the box, its also about using the larger numbers without all the fiddling with them in your application. Generally, I admit, you dont have to use the large number support, but when you do its really super keen nice. Especially on my laptop.
  • I wonder.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by metushelach (985526) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @08:26AM (#15775526)
    Considering their R&D center for this processor is in Haifa, is this what the Hizbollah are REALLY after? (Or rather - Can it be that the true culprit behind the latest clashing in the middle east is, actually, AMD?) One has to wonder..
    • Heh heh. Why else do you think the company is secretly called 'Arafat Must Die'? Of course, if some idiot ever made that fact public, I wouldn't give two pins for his life -- he'd be hunted down and aosn23 9f8lretn@#@@

  • by saboola (655522) on Tuesday July 25, 2006 @08:43AM (#15775614)
    I just ordered a Core Duo about 10 minutes ago, sweet! Glad to know its obsolete before it even hits my doorstep :)
  • See, there's the Pentium M [wikipedia.org], and "Merom" backwards is "moreM". So it's like Intel's flagship mobility-enabling product, but more so! (Oserom).

    May I be the first to predict the following road map:
    1. Merom
    2. Merom Neve
      and finally, after dozens of missed deadlines, project renamings, and changes in leadership, the long-awaited revolutionary:
    3. Merom LLI Total Submersion.

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