Intel Core (microarchitecture)

Intel processor microarchitecture / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Intel Core microarchitecture (provisionally referred to as Next Generation Micro-architecture,[1] and developed as Merom)[2] is a multi-core processor microarchitecture launched by Intel in mid-2006. It is a major evolution over the Yonah, the previous iteration of the P6 microarchitecture series which started in 1995 with Pentium Pro. It also replaced the NetBurst microarchitecture, which suffered from high power consumption and heat intensity due to an inefficient pipeline designed for high clock rate. In early 2004 the new version of NetBurst (Prescott) needed very high power to reach the clocks it needed for competitive performance, making it unsuitable for the shift to dual/multi-core CPUs. On May 7, 2004 Intel confirmed the cancellation of the next NetBurst, Tejas and Jayhawk.[3] Intel had been developing Merom, the 64-bit evolution of the Pentium M, since 2001,[2] and decided to expand it to all market segments, replacing NetBurst in desktop computers and servers. It inherited from Pentium M the choice of a short and efficient pipeline, delivering superior performance despite not reaching the high clocks of NetBurst.[lower-alpha 1]

Quick facts: General information, Launched, Performance, M...
Intel Core
General information
LaunchedJune 26, 2006; 17 years ago (June 26, 2006) (Xeon)
July 27, 2006; 17 years ago (July 27, 2006) (Core 2)
Max. CPU clock rate933 MHz to 3.5 GHz
FSB speeds533 MT/s to 1600 MT/s
L1 cache64 KB per core
L2 cache0.5 to 6 MB per two cores
L3 cache8 MB to 16 MB shared (Xeon 7400)
Architecture and classification
Technology node65 nm to 45 nm
Instruction setx86-16, x86-32, x86-64
Physical specifications
  • 1–4 (2-6 Xeon)
Products, models, variants
Enhanced Pentium M (P6)
Successor(s)Penryn (tick)
(a version of Core)
Nehalem (tock)
Support status

The first processors that used this architecture were code-named 'Merom', 'Conroe', and 'Woodcrest'; Merom is for mobile computing, Conroe is for desktop systems, and Woodcrest is for servers and workstations. While architecturally identical, the three processor lines differ in the socket used, bus speed, and power consumption. The first Core-based desktop and mobile processors were branded Core 2, later expanding to the lower-end Pentium Dual-Core, Pentium and Celeron brands; while server and workstation Core-based processors were branded Xeon.

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