Core is a 32-bit processor, mainly because 64-bit support would have required more transistors and would have negatively impacted power consumption of the chip, we were previously told by Intel executives. This is not a big deal right now, as 64-bit applications are rather scarce. However, according to sources, Windows Vista and Microsoft's upcoming Office suite will introduce 64-bit extensions in the 2007 timeframe which, as a result, will not be supported by Core.Napa64 should also bring other enhancements such as HDMI, HD audio and trusted platform module (TPM). In the second quarter of 2007 the company will also launch a completely new platform for Merom, code-named Santa Rosa.
Users who rely on 64-bit computing already today and would like to purchase a product that will run all features of Vista and Office in the 2007 will have to wait for Merom. The processor is based on a newly developed architecture that will spread its genes throughout Intel's processor portfolio. At least half a dozen Merom derivates for desktop and server platforms are scheduled to arrive between September 2006 and the first quarter of 2008.
Not much details are available about this new platform. Initially it should have had DDR3 memory, FSB1066 and a major graphics upgrade but those plans have been dropped. And HD video decoding is also unlikely as apparently Intel will only start supporting this in 2008. More info over at TG Daily.