Desktop PCs will sport quad-core intel processors starting in the fourth quarter.
The Santa Clara, Calif., company, which moved up the launch of its "Kentsfield" quad-core desktop chip from the first quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2006, is still several months from launching the chip.
However, Intel is now expected to introduce the quad-core processor as part of its Core Extreme family in early November, said sources familiar with its plans.
The Core Extreme, which is targeted mainly at PC enthusiasts who are into gaming, as well as certain corporate users whose jobs involve creating online content or editing videos, represents the pinnacle of Intels desktop processor line.
Right now, the company offers a dual-core Core 2 Extreme chip, based on its Core 2 Duo for desktops.
The quad-core Core Extreme chip, capable of executing four threads simultaneously, will use the same basic circuitry and will also serve the very high end of the desktop market.
Intel is looking to the Core 2 Duo and Core Extreme processor family to increase its competitiveness versus rival Advanced Micro Devices and to gain back market share following a string of lackluster quarterly financial performances.
Although the quad-core Core Extreme is likely to come in a somewhat-limited number of desktop models, the chip and efforts by graphics chip makers will contribute to an ongoing renaissance in the high-end desktop market. Also contributing to that renaissance is AMDs 4x4 platform, which supports two dual-core CPUs in a high-end desktop.
Intel is expected to offer more quad-core details at its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco Sept. 26-28.