The three Core i7 mobile quad-core 45nm CPUs are the Core i7-720QM and the i7-820QM for mainstream notebooks, and the Intel Core i7 Extreme i7-920XM for high-performance gaming laptops.
The i7-720QM at 1.6GHz and the i7-820QM at 1.73GHz have 6MB and 8MB of cache, respectively, while the 2GHz i7-920XM also features 8MB of cache. The i7-720QM and i7-820QM have a maximal thermal design power (TDP) of 45W, whereas the i7-920XM consumes up to 55W.
The chips offer Intel Turbo Boost technology, “which can accelerate the processor clock speed up to 75 percent to match workloads”, as well as better performance on highly threaded applications with the Hyper-Threading technology. Intel’s new mobile processors also include support for faster two-channel DDR3 1333MHz memory and improved PCI Express 2.0 interface for graphics chips.
However, the main innovation is integration of the memory controller onto the CPU silicon, removing the need for the older and slower front side bus technology.
The first Core i7 laptop processors, also known as “Clarksfield”, are accompanied by the new Intel PM55 Express “Ibex Peak” chipset. These Socket PGA988 CPUs and the PM55 chipset are parts of the Intel’s sixth-generation Centrino platform called “Calpella”.
Pricing for the Intel Core i7-720QM, i7-820QM, i7-920XM mobile processors is $364, $546, and $1,054, respectively.
Intel says the leading OEMs including Asus, Dell, HP and Toshiba began shipping the Core i7-based laptops today, with additional systems from OEMs available in the coming months.