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Intel quad-core laptop chip details leaked

New chips use 32-nanometre process

PC makers HP and Dell have spilled details about new quad-core laptop processors from Intel prior to launch of the chips.

Details about the new quad-core Core i7-840QM and Core i7-740QM processors were posted by HP on its website in a manual for the Envy 17 laptop. Dell previously listed the chips as available for the Studio 15 laptop, and information is still available on a Google cache page.

The 840QM processor runs at 1.86GHz and includes 8MB of cache. The processor includes Turbo Boost technology to ratchet up clock speed to 3.2Ghz for faster application performance. The Core i7-740QM runs at a base clock speed of 1.73GHz, with the ability to go up to 2.93GHz, and includes 6MB of cache. The processors will draw 45 watts of power.

The laptops are replacements for desktops and are targeted at enthusiasts like gamers. HP introduced the Envy 17 laptop earlier this month and said it would include quad-core processors, without specifying whether those chips would be from Intel or AMD. AMD announced new dual-, triple- and quad-core laptop chips earlier this month.

These could be Intel's first quad-core laptop chips made using the 32-nanometer process. Intel in January announced a range of dual-core Core i3, i5 and i7 laptop processors, but no quad-core chips were announced. Intel already offers quad-core chips for laptops under the Core 2 Quad brand, but those processors are made using the older 45-nanometer process.

The new chips will be part of the Westmere microarchitecture, which is a shrink of Intel's existing Nehalem microarchitecture. Nehalem provides a faster pipe for the CPU to communicate with system components.

Westmere chips also put the graphics processor and CPU on a single chip package, which helps improve graphics performance while drawing less power. The chips allow each core to run two threads simultaneously so that more tasks can be run at the same time. The quad-core laptop chips will be able to run eight threads simultaneously.

An Intel spokeswoman declined comment on the processors.

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