Intel Core 2

Last updated

Core 2
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz.jpg
An Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 "Wolfdale-3M"
General information
LaunchedJuly 26, 2006
DiscontinuedJune 8, 2012 [1]
Common manufacturer(s)
  • Intel
Max. CPU clock rate 1.06 GHz to 3.33 GHz
FSB speeds800 MT/s to 1600 MT/s
Architecture and classification
Min. feature size 65 nm to 45 nm
Microarchitecture Core
Instruction set x86, x86-64, (SSE4.1 is for 45 nm processors only)
Physical specifications
  • 1, 2, or 4
Products, models, variants
Core name(s)
  • Allendale, Conroe, Conroe-L, Merom-2M, Merom, Merom-L, Kentsfield, Wolfdale, Yorkfield, Penryn
Predecessor Pentium D, Pentium 4
Successor Core i3, i5, i7, i9

Intel Core 2 is the processor family encompassing a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit x86-64 single-, dual-, and quad-core microprocessors based on the Core microarchitecture. The single- and dual-core models are single-die, whereas the quad-core models comprise two dies, each containing two cores, packaged in a multi-chip module. [2] The Core 2 range was the last flagship range of Intel desktop processors to use a front-side bus.


The introduction of Core 2 relegated the Pentium brand to the mid-range market, and reunified laptop and desktop CPU lines for marketing purposes under the same product name, which were formerly divided into the Pentium 4, Pentium D, and Pentium M brands.

The Core 2 processor line was introduced on July 27, 2006, [3] comprising the Duo (dual-core) and Extreme (dual- or quad-core CPUs for enthusiasts), and in 2007, the Quad (quad-core) and Solo (single-core) sub-brands. [4] Intel Core 2 processors with vPro technology (designed for businesses) include the dual-core and quad-core branches. [5]

Although Woodcrest processors are also based on the Core architecture, they are available under the Xeon brand. From December 2006, all Core 2 Duo processors were manufactured from 300 millimeter plates at Fab 12 factory in Arizona and at Fab 24-2 in County Kildare, Ireland.

Virtual machine or virtualization abilities

Core 2 and other LGA 775 processors can support virtualization, when the virtual machine (VM) software supports those processors, e.g., the processor supports 'VT-x with EPT'.

Newer versions of VM software do not support processors older than Nehalem (Core 2 and older) because the older processors lack support for Intel VT-x with Extended Page Table (EPT), also termed second-level address translation (SLAT). Intel's VT-x with EPT was introduced on the newer, Nehalem microarchitecture released in 2008.


The Core 2-branded CPUs include: Conroe/Allendale (dual-core for desktops), Merom (dual-core for laptops), Merom-L (single-core for laptops), Kentsfield (quad-core for desktops), and the updated variants named "Wolfdale" (dual-core for desktops), Penryn (dual-core for laptops), and "Yorkfield" (quad-core for desktops). [lower-alpha 1]

The Core 2 branded processors feature Virtualization Technology without EPT (with some exceptions), Execute Disable Bit, and SSE3. Their Core microarchitecture introduced SSSE3, Trusted Execution Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep, and Active Management Technology (iAMT2). With a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of 65W, the Core 2 Duo Conroe dissipates half the power of the less capable contemporary Pentium D-branded desktop chips [7] that have a max TDP of 130 W. [8]

Intel Core 2 processor family
2009 logo Desktop Laptop
Code-nameCoresDate releasedCode-nameCoresDate released
Intel Core 2 Duo.png Intel Core2 Duo2009.svg Conroe
Dual (65 nm)
Dual (65 nm)
Dual (45 nm)
August 2006
January 2007
January 2008
Dual (65 nm)
Dual (45 nm)
July 2006
January 2008
Intel Core 2 Extreme.png Intel Core2 Ex2009.png Conroe XE
Kentsfield XE
Yorkfield XE
Dual (65 nm)
Quad (65 nm)
Quad (45 nm)
July 2006
November 2006
November 2007
Merom XE
Penryn XE
Penryn XE
Dual (65 nm)
Dual (45 nm)
Quad (45 nm)
July 2007
January 2008
August 2008
Intel Core 2 Quad.png Intel Core2 Qu2009.png Kentsfield
Quad (65 nm)
Quad (45 nm)
January 2007
March 2008
Penryn Quad (45 nm)August 2008
Intel Core 2 Solo.png Intel Core2 Solo2009.gif
Desktop version not available
Single (65 nm)
Single (45 nm)
September 2007
May 2008
List of Intel Core 2 microprocessors

Known marks

With the release of the Core 2 processor, the abbreviation C2 has come into common use, with its variants C2D (the present Core 2 Duo), and C2Q, C2E to refer to the Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors respectively. C2QX stands for the Extreme-Editions of the Quad (QX6700, QX6800, QX6850).

The successors to the Core 2 brand are a set of Nehalem microarchitecture based processors called Core i3, i5, and i7 . 'Core i7' was officially launched on November 17, 2008 as a family of three quad-core processor desktop models, further models started appearing throughout 2009. The last processor of the family to be released was the Core 2 Quad Q9500 in January 2010. The Core 2 processor line was removed from the official price lists in July 2011, [9] [10] and the last processors were discontinued in June 2012. [1]

See also


  1. For the server and workstation Woodcrest, Tigerton, Harpertown, and Dunnington CPUs, see the Xeon brand. [6]

Related Research Articles

Celeron Brand name by Intel

Celeron is a brand name given by Intel to a number of different low-end IA-32 and x86-64 computer microprocessor models targeted at low-cost personal computers.

Centrino Brand name by Intel

Centrino is a brand name of Intel Corporation which represents its Wi-Fi and WiMAX wireless computer networking adapters. Previously the same brand name was used by the company as a platform-marketing initiative. The change of the meaning of the brand name occurred on January 7, 2010.

Xeon Line of Intel server processors

Xeon is a brand of x86 microprocessors designed, manufactured, and marketed by Intel, targeted at the non-consumer workstation, server, and embedded system markets. It was introduced in June 1998. Xeon processors are based on the same architecture as regular desktop-grade CPUs, but have advanced features such as support for ECC memory, higher core counts, more PCI Express lanes, support for larger amounts of RAM, larger cache memory and extra provision for enterprise-grade reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features responsible for handling hardware exceptions through the Machine Check Architecture. They are often capable of safely continuing execution where a normal processor cannot due to these extra RAS features, depending on the type and severity of the machine-check exception (MCE). Some also support multi-socket systems with two, four, or eight sockets through use of the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus.

The NetBurst microarchitecture, called P68 inside Intel, was the successor to the P6 microarchitecture in the x86 family of central processing units (CPUs) made by Intel. The first CPU to use this architecture was the Willamette-core Pentium 4, released on November 20, 2000 and the first of the Pentium 4 CPUs; all subsequent Pentium 4 and Pentium D variants have also been based on NetBurst. In mid-2004, Intel released the Foster core, which was also based on NetBurst, thus switching the Xeon CPUs to the new architecture as well. Pentium 4-based Celeron CPUs also use the NetBurst architecture.

The P6 microarchitecture is the sixth-generation Intel x86 microarchitecture, implemented by the Pentium Pro microprocessor that was introduced in November 1995. It is frequently referred to as i686. It was succeeded by the NetBurst microarchitecture in 2000, but eventually revived in the Pentium M line of microprocessors. The successor to the Pentium M variant of the P6 microarchitecture is the Core microarchitecture which in turn is also derived from the P6 microarchitecture.

The Intel Core microarchitecture is a multi-core processor microarchitecture unveiled by Intel in Q1 2006. It is based on the Yonah processor design and can be considered an iteration of the P6 microarchitecture introduced in 1995 with Pentium Pro. High power consumption and heat intensity, the resulting inability to effectively increase clock rate, and other shortcomings such as an inefficient pipeline were the primary reasons why Intel abandoned the NetBurst microarchitecture and switched to a different architectural design, delivering high efficiency through a small pipeline rather than high clock rates. The Core microarchitecture initially did not reach the clock rates of the NetBurst microarchitecture, even after moving to 45 nm lithography. However after many generations of successor microarchitectures which used Core as their basis, Intel managed to eventually surpass the clock rates of Netburst with the Devil's Canyon microarchitecture reaching a base frequency of 4 GHz and a maximum tested frequency of 4.4 GHz using 22 nm lithography.

Yonah was the code name of Intel's first generation 65 nm process CPU cores, based on cores of the earlier Banias / Dothan Pentium M microarchitecture. Yonah CPU cores were used within Intel's Core Solo and Core Duo mobile microprocessor products. SIMD performance on Yonah improved through the addition of SSE3 instructions and improvements to SSE and SSE2 implementations; integer performance decreased slightly due to higher latency cache. Additionally, Yonah included support for the NX bit.

Pentium Brand of microprocessors produced by Intel

Pentium is a brand used for a series of x86 architecture-compatible microprocessors produced by Intel since 1993. In their form as of November 2011, Pentium processors are considered entry-level products that Intel rates as "two stars", meaning that they are above the low-end Atom and Celeron series, but below the faster Intel Core lineup, and workstation Xeon series.

LGA 771

LGA 771, also known as Socket J, is a CPU interface introduced by Intel in 2006. It is used in Intel Core microarchitecture and NetBurst microarchitecture(Dempsey) based DP-capable server processors, the Dual-Core Xeon is codenamed Dempsey, Woodcrest, and Wolfdale and the Quad-Core processors Clovertown, Harpertown, and Yorkfield-CL. It is also used for the Core 2 Extreme QX9775.

Pentium Dual-Core

The Pentium Dual-Core brand was used for mainstream x86-architecture microprocessors from Intel from 2006 to 2009 when it was renamed to Pentium. The processors are based on either the 32-bit Yonah or 64-bit Merom-2M, Allendale, and Wolfdale-3M core, targeted at mobile or desktop computers.

Conroe (microprocessor) Code name for several Intel processors

Conroe is the code name for many Intel processors sold as Core 2 Duo, Xeon, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron. It was the first desktop processor to be based on the Core microarchitecture, replacing the NetBurst microarchitecture based Cedar Mill processor. It has product code 80557, which is shared with Allendale and Conroe-L that are very similar but have a smaller L2 cache. Conroe-L has only one processor core and a new CPUID model. The mobile version of Conroe is Merom, the dual-socket server version is Woodcrest, and the quad-core desktop version is Kentsfield. Conroe was replaced by the 45 nm Wolfdale processor.

Merom (microprocessor)

Merom is the code name for various Intel processors that are sold as Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Solo, Pentium Dual-Core and Celeron. It was the first mobile processor to be based on the Core microarchitecture, replacing the Enhanced Pentium M-based Yonah processor. Merom has the product code 80537, which is shared with Merom-2M and Merom-L that are very similar but have a smaller L2 cache. Merom-L has only one processor core and a different CPUID model. The desktop version of Merom is Conroe and the dual-socket server version is Woodcrest. Merom was manufactured in a 65 nanometer process, and was succeeded by Penryn, a 45 nm version of the Merom architecture. Together, Penryn and Merom represented the first 'tick-tock' in Intel's Tick-Tock manufacturing paradigm, in which Penryn was the 'tick' to Merom's 'tock'.

Kentsfield (microprocessor)

Kentsfield is the code name of the first Intel desktop quad core CPU branded Core 2, released on November 2, 2006. The top-of-the-line Kentsfields were Core 2 Extreme models numbered QX6xx0, while the mainstream ones branded Core 2 Quad were numbered Q6xx0. All of them featured two 4 MB L2 caches. The mainstream 65 nanometer Core 2 Quad Q6600, clocked at 2.4 GHz, was launched on January 8, 2007 at US$851. July 22, 2007 marked the release of the Q6700, and Extreme QX6850 Kentsfields at US$530 and US$999 respectively along with a further price reduction of the Q6600 to US$266. Both Kentsfield and Kentsfield XE use product code 80562.

Penryn (microprocessor)

Penryn is the code name of a processor from Intel that is sold in varying configurations as Core 2 Solo, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium and Celeron.

Wolfdale (microprocessor)

Wolfdale is the code name for a processor from Intel that is sold in varying configurations as Core 2 Duo, Celeron, Pentium and Xeon. In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was Penryn microarchitecture, the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23. This replaced the Conroe processor with Wolfdale.

Yorkfield is the code name for some Intel processors sold as Core 2 Quad and Xeon. In Intel's Tick-Tock cycle, the 2007/2008 "Tick" was Penryn microarchitecture, the shrink of the Core microarchitecture to 45 nanometers as CPUID model 23, replacing Kentsfield, the previous model.

Intel Core Mid-range to high-end central processing units

Intel Core are streamlined midrange consumer, workstation and enthusiast computers central processing units (CPU) marketed by Intel Corporation. These processors displaced the existing mid- to high-end Pentium processors at the time of their introduction, moving the Pentium to the entry level. Identical or more capable versions of Core processors are also sold as Xeon processors for the server and workstation markets.


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1st public demonstration:Anandtech discovers Core 2 Duo performance under the supervision of Francois Piednoel