Intel Core 2 Extreme (Kentsfield XE) processors
Introduction: November 2006
The Core 2 brand refered to a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit dual-core and 2x2 MCM quad-core CPUs with the x86-64 instruction set, based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, derived from the 32-bit dual-core Yonah laptop processor. Note: the Yonah's silicon chip or die comprised two interconnected cores - each similar to those branded Pentium M. The 2x2 MCM dual-die quad-core CPU had two separate dual-core dies (CPUs) - next to each other - in one quad-core MCM package. The Core 2 relegated the Pentium brand to a lower-end market, and reunified laptop and desktop CPU lines, which previously had been divided into the Pentium 4, D, and M brands.
The Core microarchitecture returned to lower clock speeds and improved processors' usage of both available clock cycles and power compared with preceding NetBurst of the Pentium 4/D-branded CPUs. Core microarchitecture provided more efficient decoding stages, execution units, caches, and buses, reducing the power consumption of Core 2-branded CPUs, while increasing their processing capacity.
The Core 2 brand was introduced on July 27, 2006 comprising the Solo (single-core), Duo (dual-core), Quad (quad-core), and Extreme (dual- or quad-core CPUs for enthusiasts) branches, during 2007.
The Core 2-branded CPUs included: "Conroe" and "Allendale" (dual-core for higher- and lower-end desktops), "Merom" (dual-core for laptops), "Kentsfield" (quad-core for desktops), and their variants named "Penryn" (dual-core for laptops), "Wolfdale" (dual-core for desktops) and "Yorkfield" (quad-core for desktops). Note: for the server and workstation "Woodcrest", "Clovertown", and "Tigerton" CPUs saw the Xeon brand.
The Core 2 branded processors featured the Virtualization Technology (except T52x0, T5300, T54x0, T55x0 with stepping "B2", E2xx0, E4x00 and E8190 models), Execute Disable Bit, and SSE3. Their Core microarchitecture introduced also SSSE3, Trusted Execution Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep, and Active Management Technology (iAMT2). With a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of up to only 65W, the Core 2 dual-core Conroe consumed only half the power of less capable, but also dual-core Pentium D-branded desktop chips with a TDP of up to 130W (a high TDP requires additional cooling that can be noisy or expensive).
The Kentsfield XE core
The first Kentsfield XE, named Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (product code 80562) and clocked at 2.67GHz, was released on November 2, 2006 at US$999. January 4, 2008 marked its discontinuation. It featured the Kentsfield XE core, and complemented the Core 2 Extreme X6800 dual-core processor based on the Conroe XE core. Like their dual core Extreme predecessors, CPUs with the Kentsfield XE core had unlocked multipliers.
The Core 2 Extreme QX6800 clocked at 2.93GHz was released on April 8, 2007 at US$1,199. It had a 130W TDP thermal envelope, and was intended for high end OEM-only systems.
The Core 2 Extreme QX6850 clocked at 3.0GHz was launched on July 22, 2007 at US$999. It featured a faster 1333MHz FSB. Simultaneously, the previously available Extreme QX6700 was reduced in price.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.