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Only three percents of Intel Corp.’s desktop central processing units (CPUs) will have two processing engines, whereas the remaining will still have either one or two cores, it transpired.

Apparently, Intel’s Core 2 Quad processor Q6600 with four processing engines will be priced at $851 in Q1 2007, according to a news-story by DigiTimes. In addition to the Core 2 Quad Q6600, there will be Core 2 Extreme QX6700 chip – also featuring four cores – priced at $999 on the market. Due to pretty high prices of the quad-core microprocessors, their share among Intel’s desktop shipments will be only 3%. The web-site cites roadmap as the source of the information.

More democratic pricing of quad-core chips is expected in the second half of 2007, when Intel releases its second-generation quad-core microprocessors made using 45nm process technology and support SSE4 instructions. The microprocessor code-named Yorkfield will feature single-die design as well as unified level-two (L2) cache, which should boost its efficiency when compared to Intel’s first-generation quad-core offerings that have two-dice design and have to cooperate using processor system bus (PSB). Yorkfield is expected to feature 1333MHz PSB and be compatible with chipsets code-named Bearlake, which also support DDR3 memory.

Even if the market of personal computers in 2007 remains on the level of 2006, then, about 230 million systems will be sold (data by IDC), the vast majority employing one chip. Intel commands roughly 75% of x86 microprocessor market, which is about 172.5 million of processors. Even if desktop processors account for only 60% of all shipments, then 3% of desktop shipments equals to 3.105 million of units, a large amount of microprocessors. If the amount of systems to be supplied in 2007 reaches 257 million, then Intel’s total shipments will be nearly 192 million and 3% of its desktop shipments will equal to about 3.456 million.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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