A Guide to the Next Big Thing (Montevina, Nehalem, etc): The Intel Roadmap

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jbg232, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    These posts are full of people espousing why they are justified in waiting for the next big thing be it Montevina, Nehalem, etc. I just want to give everyone an unofficial road map so that you know what the hell you're even waiting for! This all refers to the Intel MOBILE road map.

    First, a clarification to the newbies - There are two components to the motherboard, the CPU and the Motherboard Chipset. The CPUs will only work in certain chipsets but there is overlap between them. Also, the chipset is based on the microarchitecture. The current microarchitecture (for the last few years) has been "Core" microarchitecture. Nehalem is the next generation microarchitecture, and Sandy Bridge is the microarchitecture successor to Nehalem.

    Note: Nehalem is an exception in the naming scheme in that it refers to both a processor (Clarksfield, Auburnsdale), a chipset (Calpella), and a microarchitecture (Nehalem). Most people refer to it's chipset properties though when mentioning it.

    Second Note: To be extremely accurate, the chipsets I've noted are actually called platforms - ie. Santa Rosa platform, Montevina platform, Calpella platform, etc. A platform has three components - the CPU, the motherboard chipset, and the wireless network interface. But for layman's usage of these terms most people use the motherboard chipset name (Cantiga) as the platform name (Montevina), which while not correct is the way it is used on these forums so I've done the same thing here. The problem comes when discussing future platforms (of which there may be one large one - notably Calpella, which is based on Nehalem processors), but which may have multiple motherboard chipsets (currently unknown names of future chipsets but there are likely others coming in the future).

    CPUs (in order of introduction):
    Merom (65nm):
    Fits in Santa Rosa Chipset
    Designed for processing power

    Penryn (45nm):
    Fits in Santa Rosa, Montevina, and Nehalem Chipsets
    Designed for power efficiency
    -Support for SSE4 instruction set (beneficial for media applications that support this (video encoding work, etc))
    -5-15% performance increase over Merom
    -Lower power consumption = More battery life
    -Higher L2 Cache on certain chips

    Nehalem (45nm): Due in Q2 '09
    Fits in Nehalem Chipset
    Designed for processing power (see below for details)
    Specific Chip Features:
    -2nd Generation Penryn Processors in some senses
    -Auburnsdale Chip- Dual-Core, 4MB L2 Cache, 35-45W TDP
    -Clarksfield Chip - Quad-Core, 8MB L2 Cache, 45-55W TDP

    Westmere (32nm), formerly known as Nehalem-C: Due in 2009
    Fits in Nehalem, Sandy Bridge Chipsets
    Details unknown currently
    Designed for power efficiency
    -Basically like the Merom->Penryn evolution in that it is smaller and more power efficient with minor speed increases

    Future 22nm chip (unnamed, but Sandy Bridge (also a chipset) is a common term used to refer to it): Due in 2010
    Fits in Sandy Bridge Chipset
    Details unknown currently
    Likely designed for power efficiency
    -4-8 Cores, but possibly up to 32 cores
    -Speeds up to 4GHz
    -L1, L2, and L3 cache

    Chipsets (in order of introduction), or more properly, platforms:
    Santa Rosa
    Based on "Core" microarchitecture
    Utilizes Crestline chipset
    4th Generation Centrino Platform
    Will hold Merom and Penryn CPUs

    Montevina : Due in Q2-Q3 '08
    Based on "Core" microarchitecure
    Utilizes Cantiga chipset
    5th Generation Centrino Platform
    Will hold Penryn CPUs
    -Supports Penryn processors up to 3.06 GHz
    -Lower power requirements
    -1066MHz FSB (compared to 800MHz for Santa Rosa)
    -DDR3 RAM clocked up to 1066MHz (compared to DDR2 up to 667MHz on Santa Rosa)
    -Support for intel turbo memory (optional on Santa Rosa)
    -Onboard gigabit ethernet

    Calpella: Due in Q2 '09 (with introduction of new chips)
    This is what most people are referring to when they say they are waiting for Nehalem!
    Based on "Nehalem" microarchitecture of CPUs
    Utilizes an unnamed chipset
    6th Generation Centrino Platform
    Will hold Nehalem and possibly Westmere CPUs (but newer chipsets may need to be developed to hold Westmere CPUs)
    -Calpella is designed for raw processing power - early benchmarks have seen 100-200% improvements in speed over today's processor+chipset combinations
    -FSB replaced with "Intel Quick Path Interconnect" which connects CPU and RAM directly
    -Supports DDR3 RAM up to 1600MHz - important because a major bottleneck in current systems is the FSB which connects the RAM and CPU. The Nehalem boards seems to eliminate that bottleneck based off of the design and the RAM speeds will likely actually be noticeable and contribute to performance (whereas nowardays they do absolutely nothing for the most part)
    -Native support for Blu-Ray (and video encoding/decoding tasks)
    -Native support for SSDs, hybrid drives
    -Nehalem chips may features 1-8 cores but Calpella supported Nehalem chips will support 2-4 cores as of right now.

    Sandy Bridge (No chipset names are known as of now, this is the name of the underlying microarchitecture, but commonly people use this name to describe the chip as well (incorrectly)):
    The successor to the Nehalem microarchitecture chipsets
    Sandy Bridge Chipset to support 32nm chips: Due in 2010
    Sandy Bridge Chipset to support 22nm chips: Due in 2011
    No other details known

    If there are corrections to be made please write them down in the post and I will keep this list accurate (or as accurate as it can possibly be) but add a link to your sources so I can verify them.
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Thanks for all that! It just goes to show all the "waiters" that if you keep waiting for the next thing, you'll never get your computer! Just look at all of the stuff that's coming out in the next year or two.
  3. macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    Thanks for the useful info.

    One problem: Santa Rosa, Montevina, Calpella, etc. are Centrino platforms. Crestline, Cantiga, etc. are chipset names.

  4. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I'm completely aware of this but this is at the heart of the confusion with all these names. When people refer to chipsets they normally give the platform names
    For clarification:
    Santa Rosa Platform utilizes Crestline Chipset
    Montevine Platform utilizes Cantiga Chipset
    Nehalem Platform utilizies an unnamed Chipset

    I will edit the original post though to make it more clear.
  5. macrumors regular

    Mar 1, 2008
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Many people have tried in vain to clear up the codename confusion on this forum. It's pointless, really. We can only suggest polite corrections as needed.

    The root of the problem is that these are internal codenames that Intel uses while developing new products. Neither Intel nor Apple use these names visibly on their consumer websites. Casual computer users come to this forum and see these codenames being thrown around and understandably get confused.

    Codenames are useful, though. It's a lot easier to write "Penryn 2.5" than "Core 2 Duo 45nm process 2.5GHz 6MB L2 cache.":eek:
  6. macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
  7. macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    That's it. I'm starting up a thread: "Official Members Waiting for Sandy Bridge". See you guys in 2011.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Twe Foju

    Dec 20, 2007
    i think i should change my siggy to "next MBP Update: Sandy Bridge gen" :D:D
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I've added this as a wiki guide for people to edit in the future as more information becomes available. You can check it out here or at the top of the page in the guides section.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    this is a very informative thread!
    thank you for putting this one up!
    his will definitely educate a lot of the forum members
  11. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2008
  12. macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Haha, do it! I'm there!
  13. macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    I tried. The mods came and closed it :p. It was fun while it lasted tho!
  14. macrumors 65816

    Feb 11, 2008
    Wow. Excellent info there. Thanks. But... Nehalem is due in Q1, or Q2? I've heard people say Q1. Anyways. You've made my mind up on switching to Nehalem now. Hmmm... So... with my Bday in September... that would make a LOVELY bday present... a FedEx man bearing a new MBP box in his package, and I just sign, charge the baby... and I'm off....
  15. macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    Wow...thanks for all that info! It makes me sad because I Have to get a computer for college soon and I can't wait until those Nehalems come out...but hey! if I spent my whole life waiting I'd never be able to enjoy any of it!
  16. macrumors 68020

    Apr 26, 2003
    19 months away....
  17. macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    In light of this past "You will use the Penryn chips" command from Intel to Apple, one would think that Apple's timeline is subsequently as explicit. As far as I can see on Intel's roadmap, this means we should look for Apple laptops to be refreshed every 6 months. The Penryn family was supposed to kick the tick off so Jan 08 Shrink(Penryn)=45 nm; June 08 New [Montevina] Chipset(Cantiga); Jan 09 New Microarchitecture(Nehalem); June 09 Refresh [Montevina] Chipset(Calpella). You can wait for Nehalem A, but then you'll be in the same pickle as right now: "I hear Montevina will be refreshed this summer... I should wait.. and with no FSB...".
  18. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    All Updates Have Been Changed on the Official Guide

    There have been a few updates and those have all been reflected on the official guide "Intel Mobile Chip Road Map" at the top of the Macbook Pro section of the forum. Please feel free to update the guide as further information becomes available or just to make it easier to understand if you don't think it is that way now. Thanks!
  19. macrumors newbie


    Jan 4, 2009
    Wow Great Info! I love my Macbook:apple: bu its going to hurt when I see the guy next to me with a Faster and Newer Macbook but until then Im not stopping showing off My Aluminium Macbook:rolleyes: Whos with me lol

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