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In just about one and a half years after the first desktop x86 dual-core chip entered the market, Intel Corp. is expected to introduce a processor with four processing engines to target the same market segment. According to unofficial information spread over the world wide web, Intel’s code-named Kentsfield processor will be available in the first quarter next year.

DigiTimes web-site reported citing sources within makers of mainboards that the world’s largest chipmaker Intel had scheduled to launch its quad-core processor, code-named Kentsfield, in the first quarter of 2007. It is also reported that at about the same time, rival Advanced Micro Devices would debut its K8L-series, which are claimed to be quad-core processors as well.

Earlier it was reported that Kentsfield is a code-name for next-generation “extreme” desktop processor from Intel, a breed that is expected to succeed the code-named Conroe processors. It is highly likely that Kentsfield features two Conroe chips on the same piece of substrate. Provided that every Conroe chip features two processing engines, the Kentsfield will have four cores, 4MB or 8MB cache, 1066MHz or 1333MHz processor system bus and other characteristics similar to Conroe.

It is unclear whether AMD also has plans to produce quad-core processors for the desktop market, but the company has confirmed its intention to supply server versions of its chips for enterprise computers in early 2007. Intel Corp. may also ship its server-oriented code-named Clovertown processor as early as late this year, in order to let customers deploy the chip in the first quarter of next year, the company has said.

The launch of quad-core chips will coincide with broad availability of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, which is scheduled to be released widely in Q1 2007.

Discussion

Comments currently: 12
Discussion started: 03/28/06 11:13:10 PM
Latest comment: 06/25/07 11:57:50 PM
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1. 
I can just see two dual cores processors on the same package called quad-core by mistake...
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/29/06 04:25:22 AM]
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Why would that be a mistake? There would be four cores, thus quad-core. There is nothing in quad-core that says how they have to be laid out.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/29/06 10:04:19 AM]
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Well,

Imagine that the packing would be big enough to allow 8 P4 on the same package. How would that make a 8 core processor?
I don’t get it?
It is already bad enough to call two cores glued together dual core…
Now two equal cores physical spared but on the same packaged be dual core, quad, ... goes beyond belief.
It’s stupidity it self in action.

Imagine one car with one 4 cylinder engine at the front and another 4 cylinder engine at the back, would that make it one car with one V8 engine? I don’t think so…..
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/30/06 01:23:19 AM]
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It would make it an 8 cylinder car. Just as the Bentley/Audi/VW 12 cylinder engine is comprised of 2 V6 units glued together. It's called a W-12.


After all it is the performance that counts, not how things are architected.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/30/06 01:50:28 PM]
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Exactly Buz.

The way Intel is doing it is actually quite sensible, and probably offers better performance anyway.

Think about it, if you put all of them on the same die, in order to ensure reasonable yields you would have to clock it down quite a bit. Even if each core had a 60% yield rate, the chance of getting all four would be quite low .6 *.6 *.6 *.6 = around 13%. That's not a part you'll be able to sell for the mainstream market. Even if each core had an 80% yield, which is really, really, really high, you only have a 41% chance of getting all four to work.

So, indirectly Intel choosing this way could lead to better performance since they should be able to clock higher with better yields.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 03/31/06 08:40:47 AM]
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Ok take the cake!

This type of implementation could have been done already 10 years ago by intel. This is a stupid design.

I even say what is stalling cyrix/via to put 8 of their small cores on one packing. Or is cpu packing technology advances?

Look at the cell processor or xbox 360, that is true multi core implementation!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/03/06 04:49:34 AM]
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Kaz,

In reality, all of this is stupid design, and it is done because they don't know what to do with the extra transistors.

They could have added several cores, either way, a long time ago, I am not sure of what your point is. They chose not to because all this stuff about thread level parallellism is nonsense. It never works as well as instruction set level parallellism and never will. I am not saying it is worthless, but it was always worth less than incremental improvements in a single core which showed improvements in every application.

So, Intel and AMD start putting more cores per chips and convincing the idiots of the world this is what they needed all along. They do this to keep prices artificially high even though uniprocessors are more than fine for the vast majority of people, and would use less power and cost less to purchase. Now people are picky about how they implement this, so obviously Intel and AMD have done a great job brainwashing people with the simple "more is better" mantra that apparently is instinctive to humans.

The Cell processor is not a general purpose processor, by the way. It is useful in a much narrower range than the Pentium 4 or Athlon 64. You may as well compare bit-slice processors with them too if you are going to include the Cell.

With regards to Cyrix, it is a dead company. VIA no longer sells Cyrix processors and the line was discontinued and considered worthless. They still sell processors, but from the Centaur branch they bought from IDT. Centaur has always been about very simple designs that work adequately enough for a decent amount of people, and are very small and very power efficient. Adding garbage technology like multiple cores would go against that, and before they did that, they would simple add more to the processor so it performed better. It is very doubtful they will go this way until they also run out of ideas, and keep in mind they have a much lower power ceiling as their target, so it is probably not something we will see in a while, unless they move into another market. Again though, they would beef up the processor first, I would think, rather than go multicore, because the processor itself is really quite slow.

To give you an example, I bought a fanless 800 MHz processor last year and put it in my little fanless machine I use in the kitchen. Well, 800 MHz doesn't sound too slow, considering it uses DDR/266 as well. But, this thing is a dog. It runs roughly the same speed as my K6-III+ does at 500 MHz, and I am talking about CPU performance here, not the miserable on-board video performance. But, the processor uses less than 6 watts (less than a Pentium Pro uses), saves heat and money on fans, and works OK for normal stuff like surfing, emailing, and messaging, so it is a very useful product. However, seeing as how the processor is so inefficient, my guess is their next steps would be to improve IPC with the extra transistor budget, rather than add new cores.

Naturally, I could be wrong. I can not read Asian companies well at all, they do weird things so often I have given up even trying.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/03/06 10:00:33 AM]
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