Intel Revs Up for Dual-Core Push

The majority of Intel's processors will be dual-core by the end of 2006, says the company, promising increasing performance without major tradeoffs.

SAN FRANCISCO—Intel is preparing for a quick ramp of its dual-core processors, predicting that more than 70 percent of its processors shipping by the end of 2006 will have two cores on a single die.

Intel Corp. will start rolling out dual-core processors in the second quarter with the release of the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 and Pentium D chips, said Stephen Smith, vice president of Intels Digital Enterprise Group, on Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum here.

The Extreme Edition—which will be paired with the 955X Express chip set—will offer the abilty to run two threads on each core, Smith said. The 90-nanometer processor also will run up to 3.2GHz and have 1MB of Level 2 cache on each core. It also will be 64-bit enabled.

The Pentium D chip, formerly codenamed Smithfield, will run a single instruction thread on each core. It will run with the 945 Express chip set.

Dual-core chips offer two cores on a single silicon die, offering users more performance without significantly ramping up energy consumption or heat generation.

In his keynote speech, outgoing CEO Craig Barrett said dual-core technology offered Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., a way of continuing Moores Law without having to increase the chips frequency.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read more about Intels dual-core showing at IDF, click here.

In his presentation, Smith gave more details on Intels dual-core plans. "Montecito" will be the first 64-bit Itanium 2 processor to offer two cores, and will roll out in late 2005, he said. An Itanium 2 for two-way systems, code-named Millington, will be released at about the same time.

In 2006, Intel will release "Montvale" and "DP Montvale," the next generation of dual-core Itaniums, and farther out will be "Tukwila"—built on the 65-nanometer process—and "Dimona."

For the Xeon MP chips, "Paxville" will be released next year, with "Tulsa," a 65-nanometer chip, coming out later next year. The Xeon DP "Dempsey" processor will also be released in 2006.

For the Pentium Extreme Edition, "Presler" will be released next year. For the traditional Pentium 4, "Cedar Mill" will also be released in 2006. Presler already is in production and is being demonstrated at the show.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about AMDs dual-core strategy.

For the Pentium M mobile chips, "Yonah" will be in production this year and officially launched in early 2006, Smith said. Both Yonah and Cedar Mill will come in both single- and dual-core versions, he said.

Smith said Intel expects that by the end of 2006, 85 percent of server chips shipped will be dual-core. For desktop and mobile chips, he estimated that number to be around 70 percent.

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