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Intel Corp., the largest maker of x86 microprocessors on the globe, is expected to release its new quad-core processor for desktops in days, at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The release of chip will allow Intel Corp. to further increase its competitive advantage over arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 chip is expected to run at 2.40GHz, come with 8MB L2 cache and use 1066MHz processor system bus. The new microprocessor is projected to cost $851, which is much higher than that of premium dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo 6700 chip, which costs $530, but is still lower compared to $999 the chipmaker charges for its “extreme” versions of its Core 2 microprocessors with two or four cores.

The 40th Consumer Electronics Show will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 8th to 11th January, 2007. The exact release dates of the launch are unclear, but, according to a report from IDG news-agency, the chip will be formally unveiled at the show.

The new microprocessor, which rivals not only dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 central processing units (CPUs), but even the high-end platform called Quad FX that includes AMD Athlon 64 FX chips, will be yet another example of Intel’s competitive advantage over its main rival AMD.

Still, the popularization of quad-core chips does not mean that Intel will cease to improve its dual-core microprocessors. Intel is projected to release Intel Core 2 Duo processors with E6850, E6750 and E6650 model numbers with 3.0GHz, 2.66GHz and 2.33GHz clock-speeds respectively and 1333MHz processor system bus in Q3 2007, when appropriate code-named Bearlake-series chipsets become available. The new chips will support TXT technology.

Due to pretty high prices of the quad-core microprocessors, their share among Intel’s desktop shipments will be only 3% in 2007, according to some information.

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