Intel Confirms Dual-Core Launch

The chip maker says it will roll out its first dual-core processor on April 18.

Intel Corp. will launch its first dual-core processor on Monday, company officials confirmed Friday.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker hinted at an upcoming launch date earlier this week when Abhi Talkwalkar, vice president and general manager of Intels Digital Enterprise Group, said Monday at the Intel Developer Forum in Taiwan that the company already was shipping the dual-core Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 and accompanying 955X Express chip set.

The 3.2GHz chip and chip set will appear in high-end desktops and entry-level workstations targeting PC enthusiasts, such as gamers. Dell Inc., of Round Rock, Texas, on Monday said that within the coming weeks, it will begin shipping its Precision 380 workstation and Dimension XPS desktop with the new chip and chip set. An Intel spokesperson said he expects other PC makers to announce similar systems next week.

In May, Intel will launch the next dual-core family, Pentium D, for PCs.

Intels launch on Monday—set to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Moores Law, which says that the number of transistors on a processor will double every 18 to 24 months—comes the same week that rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rolls out its dual-core Opteron processor for servers and workstations. That will happen Thursday, at an event in New York City to celebrate the second anniversary of the 64-bit Opteron.

For Intel, dual-core technology is one of the key "Star Ts" that it is putting into its chips to improve performance without relying solely on cranking up the frequency. Other technologies include 64-bit capabilities through its EM64T technology and virtualization offerings through its Intel Virtualization Technology, which is due in 2006.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intels virtualization technology, formerly code-named Vanderpool.

Dual-core chips feature two processing cores on a single die, essentially turning a two-way system into a four-way system.

Intel later in the year will add dual-core capabilities to its 64-bit Itanium and Xeon server chips. Officials predict that by the end of 2006, 70 percent of all server chips and 85 percent of desktop and mobile processors will be dual-core.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., will launch its dual-core Athlon64 processors for PCs later this year. The company will preview those chips at the New York event next week, according to CEO Hector Ruiz.

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