CNET News.com got a peek at Intel's confidential road map, which shows plans for a dizzying array of single- and dual-core chips for 2006.
Performance-enhancing features such as hyperthreading, 64-bit functionality, execute/disable and virtualization will appear together, separately, in varying combinations or not at all, depending on the chip and the type of computer in which it will be used. Of course, chips will vary by speed, cache size and bus speed.
The chipmaker's first round of Viiv entertainment-branded PCs will be included on Intel motherboards code-named Bad Axe, Palm Canyon and Bear Canyon. Each motherboard will include LGA775 packaging for 3.60GHz and higher processor frequencies. These computers will rely on the upcoming Yonah notebook chip.
Yonah, a new notebook chip coming from Intel early next year, will run slightly faster than expected, but may also consume more power than its contemporaries. Intel road maps indicate the next-generation Pentium M will debut at speeds up to 2.16GHz and possibly 2.33GHz--slightly faster than the 2GHz or less anticipated by sources in August. Yonah will also come with a 667MHz bus, which is a channel for ferrying data between the processor and memory; today's Pentium Ms feature a 533MHz bus.
Yonah chips, though, will carry higher maximum-power-consumption ratings than current Pentium Ms. Most likely, that's because most Yonahs will sport two processing cores, rather than the single core found in today's notebook chips.
Intel is expected to begin the introduction of its "Montecito" processors with three models running at 1.6GHz and 1.4GHz, but by the end of the first half of next year, at least six more are scheduled to arrive. The plan also shows an even broader portfolio of Xeons, a vastly more popular server chip that, unlike Itanium, can run the same software as other x86 chips such as Pentiums.
The road map also shows that Itanium clock speeds will get a 200MHz boost from the addition of Intel's new "Foxton" technology, which lets chips run faster as long as they don't get too hot.