Advanced Micro Devices beat Intel to the market with the first dual-core x86 server processors, but Intel this week said it will be the first to market with quad-core offerings.
The move to multicore processors will begin hitting the mainstream x86 server and desktop markets later this year, when Intel begins shipping quad-core devices. AMD is not expected to ship a quad-core processor until later in 2007.
During the company's second quarter earnings call Wednesday, Paul Otellini, president and chief executive of Intel, said that quad-core processors for the server and desktop will ship late this year instead of the first quarter of 2007, as had been originally projected.
As previously reported, Intel will use a strategy similar to what it used when it introduced its first dual-core offerings. Intel plans to offer a multichip package that combines two of the recently released Woodcrest Xeon processors to create its first quad-core processor for servers, and two of its dual-core Conroe processors, which will be formally introduced next week, to create a quad-core processor for desktop PCs.
Intel used two single-core Pentium processors in a multichip package to create its first dual-core offering last year, the Pentium D. Intel later in the year introduced dual-core versions of Pentium and Xeon processor that used a more conventional monolithic silicon substrate.
AMD, by contrast, has used a monolithic, or what the company calls "native," implementation on all its dual-core processor offerings. AMD says the company will again use a monolithic design for its first quad-core offerings, which are currently scheduled for mid-year 2007.
In non-x86 processor areas, there have been multichip offerings for some time, including Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc T1, or Niagara, processor. That chip, which was introduced late last year, combines eight Sparc processor cores in a single chip.
Also in the fourth quarter of last year, IBM introduced servers based on a quad-core Power5+ processor.