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Intel Corp. plans to brings forward the introduction of its new top-of-the-range six-core Core i7 Extreme processor and also add fourth six-core microprocessor into the lineup of its leading-edge code-named Gulftown chips that are made using the most advanced fabrication technology to date, the 32nm HKMG process.

In the fourth quarter of the year Intel will offer replacement for its current flagship Core i7-980X processor that will offer higher performance, X-bit labs has learnt from sources with knowledge of Intel’s plans. While there are no details are known, it is more than likely that the world’s largest maker of chips will boost clock-speed of the Gulftown design up from 3.33GHz and will call the novelty “Core i7-990X”. Earlier it was reported – based on the roadmaps – that Intel will only refresh its Extreme line in Q1 2011, but apparently the company wants to update the family already in Q4 2010.

In the third quarter of this year Intel also plans to release its Core i7-970 chip, which will work at 3.20GHz and will not cost $999. However, in the fourth quarter of the year Intel plans to reveal a rather mysterious chip currently marked as “≥i7-970” (meaning faster than the model 970). It remains to be seen what will be the difference between the “≥i7-970” and the current i7-980X as logically they should have the same feature-set as well as the same clock-speed and the only natural difference between Extreme and non-Extreme is the unlocked clock-speed multiplier on the former.

The introduction of the model “≥i7-970” will inevitably bring the price of the Core i7-970 down and hence six-core chips from Intel will become more affordable, a good news for enthusiasts of performance. Intel originally planned to have only three six-core Gulftown models, but it seems like its plans are changing, possibly because the demand towards personal computers is growing and Intel wants to offer faster solutions to catalyze upgrades.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Intel, Gulftown, 32nm, Core

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