Intel quad-core chips arriving in 2006

Company pushes up its scheduled launch for server and desktop chips with four processing engines.

Intel quad-core server and desktop processors will arrive this year instead of next, Chief Executive Paul Otellini said Wednesday, firing a new competitive volley against rival Advanced Micro Devices.

"We notified customers we're pulling in both the desktop and server (launch) of the first quad-core processors into the fourth quarter of this year from the first half of 2007," Otellini said. Intel's quad-core Xeon server processor is code-named Clovertown , and its desktop processor Kentsfield .

Intel quad-cores

Intel has been bruised financially in recent quarters, but is fighting to reverse market share losses. Both Intel and AMD now sell dual-core chips --those with two processing engines on a single slice of silicon--and are racing to bring multicore successors to market.

Chips with more cores can juggle multiple jobs simultaneously than single-core models. However, while server software typically is able to use multiple cores, most desktop computer software hasn't been adapted for the designs.

Intel's quad-core chips actually are packages consisting of two dual-core chips, but each package plugs into a single processor socket. AMD, whose quad-core chips are due in mid-2007 , uses a more refined design with all the cores on a single slice of silicon.

Intel has advanced several schedules recently. Its "Woodcrest" Xeon chip for dual-processor servers went on sale in the second quarter instead of the fourth, and its "Tulsa" Xeon for four-processor servers also is arriving sooner. "We pulled in the Tulsa processor launch by two quarters to the third quarter and have begun shipping that product for revenue," Otellini said.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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