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In a bid to improve its financial results and solidify position as the maker of highest-performance microprocessors, Intel Corp. aims to start shipping its quad-core central processing unit ahead of the schedule set earlier, the company’s chief executive Paul Otellini said during the quarterly conference call.

“We notified customers we’re pulling in both the desktop and server (launch) of the first quad-core processors into the fourth quarter of this year from the first half of 2007,” said Paul Otellini, the head of the company.

Earlier than expected introduction means that Intel is very confident about its ability to manufacture sufficient amount of quality quad-core chips. But, according to analysts, the ramp of such central processing units is unlikely to be really fast. Nevertheless, Intel needs significant lead over rival Advanced Micro Devices, whose microprocessors have been winning benchmarks for several years now. If Intel is one quarter ahead with innovative design, it may win many designs with producers of high-end computers. While the volumes may not be large, they will create "halo" effect for other products by the company.

Earlier it was reported that Kentsfield is a code-name for next-generation “extreme” desktop processor from Intel, will have four processing engines, in contrast to two cores sported by the Core 2 Extreme chips. 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 level-two (L2) cache, 1066MHz processor system bus and other characteristics similar to Conroe.

Intel’s code-named Clovertown chip is the company’s first microprocessor to feature four execution engines, or cores. The chip is designed for dual-socket servers and it is known that it is produced using 65nm process technology. Intel is also working on Tigerton, quad-core processor for multi-processor servers. Intel code-named Clovertown processor consists of two Woodcrest cores on a single piece of substrate, will have 8MB of L2 cache and is likely to use 1333MHz processor system bus, being drop-in compatible with applications based on Intel 5000-series chipsets. Earlier Intel demonstrated a sample of Clovertown running at 2.0GHz.

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