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Intel has reportedly included its dual-core desktop microprocessor into the next year’s roadmap. While not much is known about the product, such kind of introduction may mean that Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor giant has made its mind in regards the future of its desktop offerings.

AnandTech web-site recently shed some light on Intel’s dual-core processors code-named Smithfield. The chips that will be manufactured using 90nm process technology will, as expected, use LGA775 form-factor and be compatible with code-named Glenwood and Lakeport chipsets. It is not known whether the chips will be 64-bit capable. Intel also has not decided which model number it would use for its forthcoming processors in spite of the fact that earlier this year the company said it would name its premier chips with a model number beginning with 7.

The web-site notes that Intel is likely to launch three dual-core SKUs in mid-2005 targeting high-end and performance-mainstream PC market segments. The top-of-the-range dual-core Intel Pentium processor will be compatible with “Performance” FMB, while the remaining two offerings will also be able to target “Mainstream” FMB. Intel’s FMB, or Flexible Motherboard, specifications describe certain guidelines that mainboards targeted for a certain market need to correspond.

At this point internal micro-architecture of the Smithfield is not clear. Earlier this year different rumors suggested that either NetBurst or P6 architecture will be utilized in Intel's desktop dual-core microprocessors.

Intel Corp. in early May, 2004, set plans to release microprocessors with two processing engines, or cores, for desktop, mobile 2-way server and high-end MP server computers in 2005.

In mid-June, 2004, Intel’s arch-rival AMD said it had completed the development of its dual-core products. The company planned to introduce server versions of the chips in mid-2005, while desktop dual-core products are expected to be out by the end of 2005.

Intel Corp.’s officials typically do not comment on unreleased products.

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