It may not roll off the tongue as easily as the familiar Pentium name, but Intel says its Core 2 Duo processor line will be just as significant as Pentium as a set of products.
The energy-sipping, dual-core processors will power everything from servers to laptops to mobile devices, says Intel's CEO Paul Otellini. And it will beat rival Advanced Micro Devices to the punch when it introduces quad core versions in August.
Otellini tried to turn up the heat a little higher Thursday during the official launch of the Core 2 Duo brand when he noted that Intel seldom uses its Santa Clara headquarters as the site of its product launches. As a matter of fact, he said the last time Intel did so was in 1993 when the Pentium first came out.
Core 2 Duo will be the processor used by the servers and PCs that power the next generation of the Internet, declared Otellini. "Core 2 Duo is the growth engine for the next 500 million new Internet users," he predicted. These new users will be more interested in video, multimedia, and games than their predecessors, and more interested in mobile devices with powerful processing capabilities.
Because the Core 2 Duo processor uses 40% less electricity while yielding a 40% increase in performance, it is expected to find its way into new forms of computers. Outside the hall where Otellini spoke, Intel staff members were showing a sleek, silver computer from Dell that was much smaller than the normal desktop or deskside machine, roughly 12 inches by 14 inches and only three inches thick. A home computing and entertainment center can fit into a smaller package now because the computer requires less air flow for heat dissipation and fewer cooling fans.
Another game machine based on Core 2 Duo was a black eight inch-by-eight inch cube when viewed from the front (and about 11 inches deep) from a supplier named on the front only as xPC.