We're still waiting for Intel's 45nm processors but the upcoming Nehalem architecture also looks promising. According to Kirk Skaugen from Intel the jump from the current Core 2 architecture to Nehalem will be higher than the jump for Netburst to Core 2!
Since that last jump was pretty substantial - big enough to turn around the market situation and put AMD in a lot of further trouble, I'm curious how far would Nehalem go then.
If we compare the initial top Core 2 launch part, the 2.93GHz Conroe, vs 3.73GHz Presler, the last Netburst part in the same process, we're talking a speed increase between 30 per cent. And over 80 per cent right there and then, depending on what you run - I'm not counting some of those rare benchmarks where the difference was more than double.
Let's say, putting it conservatively, that the last extreme Penryn (Harpertown and Yorkfield) part is a 3.6GHz FSB1600 one in, say, April-May 2008, and that the first Nehalem, TylersburgDP platform, comes some two to three months later.
If it really provides a speed-up not even greater, but just similar to the 30-80 per cent jump seen above in the Presler-Conroe move, we'll have a speed champion on hand. Even the highest end Power6 parts, in DP configs at least, would have a bit of paranoia about this one. Just think the Harpertown benchmarks scaled to 3.6GHz, then multiplied by 1.3 to 1.8 depending on the case.