Intel's 65 nm Process Breathes Fire into Double-Core Extreme Edition

Pentium Extreme Edition 955

The Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 with 376 million transistors.

The new chip is based on Intel's 65 nm production process and is the top model of the upcoming Pentium D 900 series family, which is going to launch on January 5. Pentium D is the brand that Intel selected for its dual core NetBurst products half a year ago. The 800 series is based on the 90 nm Smithfield processor code and offers four variations today: The Pentium D 820, 830 and 840 at 2.8, 3.0 and 3.2 GHz plus the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 at 3.2 GHz.

As you can imagine, there will be similar processor models within the 900 series. Four models are ready to launch: Pentium D 920, 930, 940 and 950, at clock speeds between 2.8 and 3.4 GHz. In this context, the 955 model number of the Extreme Edition 955 makes sense, because it offers slightly more clock speed and a faster Front Side Bus speed than the Pentium D 950.

The Thermal Design Power (TDP) is still specified at 130 W, although the new 65 nm dual core is pretty far away from requiring that much. The voltage requirements are 1.2 to 1.3375 V; the case temperature should never exceed 68.6°C. As a consequence, the Pentium Extreme Edition 955 requires a motherboard/platform that complies with Intel's performance requirements. Since this adds costs for higher quality motherboard components, there will be some Pentium D models that are specified at < 100 W for mainstream deployment.

This is how the 65 nm Pentium 4 (Cedar Mill) looks like.

The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 is based on the 65- nm Presler double core which, again, is based on two Cedar Mill type single cores.

The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 runs at 3.46 GHz.