RUMOR: Intel’s breakthrough ‘Penryn’ processor family coming six months early – first half 2007

“The hot rumour of the moment is that Intel is about to pull its 45 nanometre shrink into the first half of this year and so basically six months early,” Charlie Demerjian reports for The Inquirer.

“It may want to, but is it technically feasible? It isn’t like it is simply buying off the shelf parts, because this is bleeding edge tech,” Demerjian reports.

Demerjian reports, “In talking with manufacturing people, we’ve learned this might not be as impossible as it seems. The 45 nanometre process was basically done and set in mid-2006. With the recipe set, it was just a matter of equipping the fabs and getting the tools in place. Shake them down, and hopefully you are in business.”

“The tools are the critical components, and they may or may not be done in time for Intel to pull the schedule in. The key to this is the critical lithography tools. At 45 nanometres, Intel is not changing litho tools to a large degree, it is going for two pass dry lithography using many of the same parts as it did at 65 nanometres,”Demerjian reports.

Demerjian reports, “In both cases, this boils down to it being technically possible, barely. Assuming perfect execution, no stumbles along the way by Intel or its partners, and the stars aligning correctly, means it might happen.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Intel reinvents the transistor – January 28, 2007
Intel announces breakthrough ‘Penryn’ processor family; slated for production in second half 2007 – January 27, 2007
Intel processor breakthrough biggest chip advance in 40 years; coming before year end – January 27, 2007
Intel to announce processor breakthrough; new chips will run faster, consume less power – January 27, 2007
Intel pledges 80-core processor within five years – September 26, 2006
Apple chose well: Anandtech – Intel Core 2 Duo ‘the fastest desktop processor we’ve ever tested’ – July 14, 2006
Apple chose well: Intel poised to take massive lead across the board over AMD – June 07, 2006
Intel first to demonstrate working 45nm chips – January 26, 2006
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005
Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006, all Macs to be Intel-based by end of 2007 – June 06, 2005


  1. Is it unreasonable to hope for this in the next iMac refresh?? I’ve been waiting and waiting for the lucious 24″ to get a refresh. Nothing is more dissapointing than getting a new Mac to have it replaced in 2 months by a new model.

  2. I bought the 24″ the day it came out and I’m here to tell you that it is an awesome machine. Of course, I moved up from an 800MHz G4. New specs on the machine doesn’t make the previous one obsolete. We still use the old G4.

  3. My MacBook Pro (original model) will get replaced a couple of months after this new chip hits the MBP line-up. Why a couple of months? That’s when the refurbs should be available ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Motley 5

    I know what you mean, I purchased a 20″” iMac and they revamped the line with core 2 and the 24″ 2 weeks later!!

    o Well, still love it, will probaly pass it to the kids this summer , and get the 24′

  5. moiety5,

    > Is it unreasonable to hope for this in the next iMac refresh?

    The Core 2 Duo is pretty new itself and has room to grow. The new chips might go into some new ultra compact Mac notebook.

    Why wait? These days, if you wait for the next expected new models, you’ll be waiting forever. If the current model meets your needs, it will still meet your needs even if it is “replaced in 2 months by a new model.”

    Or you can get one of the refurbs at the online Apple Store. Usually, those models are previous generation, but they actually have the current 24″ iMacs (Core 2 Duo) models. If Apple does release a new model, at least you can feel good about saving a few hundred bucks on the “old” model. You can use part of the savings to buy Leopard when it finally gets released.

  6. i bought a mac mini refurb, and it worked perfectly. gonna buy a macbook refurb pretty soon here – just $799! awesome deal.

    on topic – bring on penryn! i can’t wait to see if it’s really as breakthrough as MDN and intel make it sound.

    mw: doubt – don’t doubt refurb machines =)

  7. > is buying refurbs a good idea??

    A refurb from the Apple Store does not mean it was “used,” at least not extensively. I think they are mostly products that were bought and returned for some reason. In some cases, they may be overstock of the previous generation products that were never sold. If there was a problem, it gets fixed by Apple. If there was no problem, it gets a checkup and repackaged in a brown box. The warranty is the same as a “new” product, and you can extend it with AppleCare. You get the latest Mac OS X version and accompanying software.

    I have not purchased any refurbished Macs, but I bought two refurb iPods from the online store. They were fine and looked brand new. They just came on a brown box instead of the usual fancy Apple packaging.

  8. I bought my Quad G5 refurbed from the apple store (it’s the second system I bought refurbed from them, the first was a G4)

    Never had a single problem with either system and I saved about $1000.

    Good deal if you ask me.


    With only one of three Intel’s Penryn manufacturing plants currently reported near or at operational readiness, I doubt it. However, if Apple were to secure exclusive use of the first commercial release of Penryn chips then….

    Anyhow, wait to read (i) confirmed reports of certain Core 2 Duo-based Macs coming down in price, (ii) confirmed reports of certain Core 2 Duo-based Macs becoming scarce, and (iii) confirmed reports of shipments of Core 2 Duo chips declining. Then you can get excited.

  10. Looks like this story has been hijacked by talk of refurbs so . . .

    I have bought several products refurb from Apple (airport cards, accessories, macs, etc.) and they are not only as good but in some cases better than new. There are several threads in the discussions on where many people have had the same experience.

    I ordered a Dual 2GHz G5 with 512MB RAM and 64MB NVidia card. I was already paying about $500 cheaper than if I bought this system new. They sent me the Mac with 1GB of RAM and 128MB Radeon card (a step up from the Nvidia). I priced the system new and it was worth almost $1000 more than what I paid! That Mac is almost 3 years old now and has done nothing but run like a dream.

    Buying refurb from Apple is not like buying refurb from Crazy Larry’s PC Computer Shack. It comes with the same warranty, etc. They guarantee it to be the same as the new product. Basically they extend the same excellent Apple experience to the refurbs that you get from everything else they do.

    I plan on buying all my Macs that way from now on. Again, I have heard this same experience echoed many times throughout various forums, so this does appear to be the reputation they have.

  11. I’ve boughten (hehe) 4 or 5 refurbs now over the years, and I have yet to have a problem with any of them. Honestly, if you can bypass the “new release – gotta have it right this minute” syndrome, and can wait a couple or three months for the first returns to hit the refurb store, it’s just like new but saves you some money.

    I like to think of it as insurance – someone else probably found the manufacturing defect for me, and now the machine is flawless. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.