What is Arrandale Processor? (Explained)

What is Arrandale Processor?

Arrandale basically refers to the core name given by Intel to the dual-core, mainstream microprocessors built on the x86-64 microarchitecture. These processors are typically built on a 32 nm fabrication process.

From a technical perspective, the Arrandale processors use a 5-series chipset and belong to the 1st generation of Westmere-based Core mainstream CPUs that support 64-bit word size.


  • Arrandale processors refer to the x86-64, dual-core processors that use the PM55 Express chipset.
  • These processors are successor to Clarksfield and predecessors to Sandy Bridge M processors.
  • These processors are built on a 32 nm fabrication process on CMOS or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor technology.
  • The Arrandale processors support a 64-bit word size and typically come with an Ironlake HD graphics processor integrated into them.
  • With the launch of the Arrandale processors On January 7, 2007, the mobile processors series of the Core i3 and Core i5 families got further extended.

Understanding Arrandale Processor

What is Arrandale Processor

The term Arrandale signifies the codename of the Intel mobile processor family, built on x86-64 microarchitecture and a 32 nm technology node.

These processors are successors to the Clarksfield processors and predecessors of the Sandy Bridge mobile processors.

These processors are also the successors of the Penryn processors that are built on the 45 nm core microarchitecture.

Unlike Penryn, the Arrandale processors do not contain a separate Northbridge and a Southbridge.

This is because the architecture of the Arrandale processor already includes most of the major components found on the Northbridge. These are:

  • The memory controller
  • The integrated Graphics Processing Unit
  • The PCI Express bus for exterior graphics
  • The DMI interface

With such inclusions already made in the chip, it makes things much easier for the designers to build more compact devices.

Launched on January 7, 2010, the package of this particular processor typically comes with two dies. These are:

  • The 32 nm processor die consisting of the I/O connections
  • The 45 nm integrated memory controller die with the Intel HD Ironlake Graphics controller.
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However, this physical separation of the processor die with the memory controller die results in memory latency greater than before.

The design of this architecture is pretty similar to the Clarkdale desktop processor, especially in the following aspects:

Brand names

The Arrandale processors are sold under different brand names such as:

  • Intel Core i3 – All i3-3xxM processors come with a 3 MB L3 cache size and a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 35 watts, and all i3-3xxUM processors come with a similar L3 cache but a lower TDP of 18 watts.
  • Intel Core i5 – All i5-4xxM, i5-5xxM, and i5-5xxE processors come with an L3 cache size of 3 MB and a TDP of 35 watts, and all i5-4xxUM and i5-5xxUM processors come with an L3 cache of the same size but a lower TDP of 18 watts.
  • Intel Core i7 – All Core i7 processors come with the same L3 cache of 4 MB, but the i7-6xxM and i7-6xxE processors have a TDP of 35 watts, the i7-6xxLM and i7-6xxLE processors with 25 watts, and the i7-6xxUM and i7-6xxUE CPUs with a TDP of 18 watts.
  • Intel Celeron – The P4xxx as well as the U3xxx Celeron processors come with an L3 cache size of 2 MB, but the TDP of the former is 35 watts, as opposed to 18 watts of the latter variants.
  • Intel Pentium – The P6xxx as well as the U5xxx Pentium processors come with an L3 cache size of 3 MB, but the TDP of the former is 35 watts while the TDP of the latter CPUs is 18 watts.
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However, it is only the Intel Core i7 variants that come with all of the features mentioned later on in the article, and use the full Level 3 cache.

Also, the names of the processors ending in E in place of an M are usually the embedded versions of the processors that come with specific features to support the following:

On the other hand, the standard mobile versions of the Arrandale processors do not support ECC memory and come with only one single PCIe port.

And, as for the Celeron variants of Arrandale processors, they typically come with the smallest size of Level 3 cache, measuring only 2 MB.

Significant features

Some of the notable features of the Arrandale processors, apart from those mentioned above, are summarized for you as follows:

  • The architecture uses a PM55 Express chipset.
  • Typically, there are two cores and four threads in the processors.
  • Depending on the processor model, the cores also support additional features such as Turbo Boost technology, or TBT 1.0, and hyperthreading.
  • The maximum base clock rate attained by the cores of the processor typically ranges between 1.06 GHz and 2.66 GHz. However, the turbo boost frequency of the cores can range anywhere between 1.73 GHz and 3.46 GHz, depending on the CPU model.
  • The CPUs are equipped with a DMI 1.0 of 2.5 GT/s capacities.
  • The processor can support up to 8 GiB maximum DDR3-800 or 1066 memory.
  • The architecture of the processor supports both micro Pin Grid Array or µPGA-988 and Ball Grid Array or BGA-1288 types of sockets.
  • The processors typically come with HD Graphics (Ironlake), with a base frequency ranging between 166 MHz and 500 MHz, and boost frequency ranging between 500 MHz and 766 MHz, depending on the GPU model.
  • The Level 2 cache of the processors measures 256 KB per core and the Level 3 cache may range anywhere between 2 MB and 4 MB, depending on the processor model.
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Instruction Set Architecture and extension support

Just like most of the Intel processors, the Arrandale processors also support an x86-64 Instruction Set Architecture. Along with it, the CPU architecture also supports a variety of extensions such as:

However, the Celeron variants do not support all of these instruction extensions.

On the other hand, there are a few specific models of Arrandale processors that also support the following, in addition to the above extensions:

  • AES or Advanced Encryption Standard
  • Intel vPro
  • VT-d and VT-x or Virtualization extensions
  • EPT or Extended Page Table


Released on January 7, 2010, the Arrandale processors expanded the Intel Core i3 and i5 mobile processor families.

The features and functionalities of these processors are much improved over their predecessor, the Clarksfield, and offer a reasonably high level of performance in spite of being built on a 32 nm process.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers since childhood. He has over 12 years of experience in writing, computer testing, and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin

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