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As a result of not very fast adoption rate of dual-core processors by new software that still does not take much advantage over the dual-core chips, as well as increased complexity of quad-core processors, the ramp up of quad core-chips will be slow in the first year of introduction, but will pick up later, when the infrastructure and new fabrication technology are ready.

“The ramp of quad-core should be very slow through the first year of introduction, with a push as the company enters the manufacturing [process] transition [from 65nm to 45 nm],” said Jim McGregor, the author of the most recent Microprocessor Report from In-Stat.

Mr. McGregor believes that Intel Corp. would be “less aggressive on the move to quad-core for the PC than it has been with the dual-core transition” and expects initial adoption in low-end servers and high-end desktops only.

According to Mercury Research analyst firm, Intel Corp. ships roughly 20 thousand of its “Extreme Edition” desktop processors per quarter amid over 30 million desktop chips or about or over 50 million of all microprocessors sold every three months. According to a Mercury’s report seen by X-bit labs, Intel supplied 148 thousand of Intel Pentium D 800-series processors in Q2 2005, 593 thousand of those chips in Q3 2005 and was aiming to ship about 770 thousand of its first-generation dual-core chips in Q4 2005. The same report indicated that Intel supplied 10 thousand of dual-core Intel Xeon DP “Paxville” processors in Q3 2005 and was planning to ship 85 thousand of such chips in Q4 2005.

Earlier Intel officially showcased its first quad-core processor code-named Clovertown , which is a product that features two separate chips on a single piece of substrate and is designed for dual-processor servers. Additionally, Intel plans to introduce quad-core Kentsfield , next-generation “extreme” desktop processor. It is highly likely that Kentsfield features two Conroe dual-core chips on the same piece of substrate, thus, providing four execution engines. The Kentsfield is expected to have four cores, 4MB or 8MB cache, 1066MHz or 1333MHz processor system bus and other characteristics similar to Conroe . Additionally, Intel may be planning quad-core chips for laptops .


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