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Intel ships new hafnium-assisted transistors

That’s right kids, after months of announcements, this is the day (Nov. 12) that Penryn ships. Ashlee Vance has some good summary coverage

Intel’s pride around the Penryn chips stems from a number of factors, but it’s particularly pleased with one item – the new materials used to construct transistor gates. The chip maker will now use Hafnium in combination with a pair of secret metal oxides instead of silicon dioxide to craft the insulation layer of the gate that controls current. The tweaking of the materials counts as the most significant change to transistors in about forty years, according to Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.

What’s on offer?

As of Nov. 12, Intel will have 12 new quad-core versions of its Xeon server chip available in the Penryn family, which will ship as the Xeon 5400 Series products. The chips will be available at speeds between 2GHz and 3.20GHz with a front side bus topping out at 1600MHz and cache sizes of up to 12MB.

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