Intel to introduce first mobile 'Nehalem' chip

The chipmaker is expected to roll out the first Core i7 processor for laptops on Wednesday. Several major PC makers are also expected to announce new laptops using the chip.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

SAN FRANCISCO--Intel is expected to roll out the first "Nehalem" processor for laptops on Wednesday.

Nehalem is Intel's new processor microarchitecture and is used currently in its high-performance Core i7 series of desktop processors and more inexpensive Core i5 series. The chipmaker is expected to move most laptop, desktop, and server processors to the Nehalem architecture in 2010.

The Core i7 "Clarksfield"--expected to be introduced Wednesday at the Intel Developer Forum--is a quad-core processor for higher-end laptop designs. Laptop models from major PC makers are also expected.

The Nehalem architecture will manifest itself later in laptops as "Arrandale," a dual-core CPU (central processing unit) that integrates graphics into the CPU--a first for Intel. The company demonstrated Arrandale on Tuesday in a laptop during CEO Paul Otellini's keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum.

Earlier this month, in a phone interview, Intel Vice President Steve Smith described the technology as moving its high-performance desktop Nehalem technology into laptops. "We just announced Lynnfield (the Core i5 and i7 chips for desktops), Clarksfield is the equivalent product for notebooks," Smith said at that time.

He continued: "Quad-core, 45-nanometer. Based on Nehalem technology but optimized with power management and integration of the PCI express I/O. Moving from a three-chip solution in the original Nehalem products to two chips--and that is our path going forward." I/O, or input-output, is silicon that enables a processor to talk, and shuttle data, to other parts of the system and peripheral components.