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While it is known that one day multi-core microprocessors will go to mainstream and even entry-level markets, Intel Corp. on Thursday disclosed exact timeframe when the company manufactures more performance multi-core than single-core central processing units (CPUs). Apparently, the shipments cross-over is expected to happen in Q3 2006.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s vice-president vice president of digital enterprise group indicated to attendees of A.G. Edwards computer/microprocessor technology conference that shipments of performance dual-core processors will exceed shipments of single-core chips starting from the Q3 2006, a few quarters from now. Generally, this may mean that half of Intel’s Pentium, Xeon and, possibly, Core processors will adopt dual-core design and will be available at more or less affordable pricing.

Research firm Gartner Research believes that in 2007 the majority of processors will feature two processing engines, whereas both Intel and AMD plan to intro quad-core processors also in 2007.

“By 2007, dual-core processors will represent the majority of units shipped. Dual-core processors will deliver the greatest advance in performance since the introduction of the 386, but developers and users must test and tune their software to receive the full benefit of this performance boost,” said Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds.

It is also interesting to note that shipments of processors made using 65nm and 90nm process technologies are expected to crossover in Q3 2006, which means that starting from Q3 2006 Intel will produce more chips using 65nm fabrication process than processors using 90nm manufacturing technology. 

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