Intel has more than 15 dual- and multicore projects under way. "The transition starts in the second quarter of 2005, and over a two-year time period, substantially all our platforms will move to dual cores," Stephen Smith, VP in Intel's digital enterprise group, said at the Intel Developer Forum Tuesday.
Single-core and dual-core offerings will co-exist over the next couple of years, Smith said, with the dual-core offerings representing the high-end of Intel's price-performance curve. By the end of next year, however, dual-core shipments are expected to total 70% of all desktop and mobile processors, and 85% of all server processors. Dual-core processors are a chip with two CPUs.
Intel plans to begin shipping dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition and mainstream dual-core Intel Pentium D processors in the second quarter.
The Pentium Extreme Edition will include the use of two hyperthreads on each core, for a total of four hyperthreads in the processor. The hyperthreads will allow for running multiple instructions simultaneously. The Pentium D will not have hyperthreading initially.
Intel will ship its first dual-core Itanium, code-named Montecito, in the fourth quarter of this year, as well as dual-core Xeon processors. Intel will begin shipping its dual-core mobile processor, code-named Yonah, in the first quarter of 2006, Smith said.
Intel has invested more than $35 billion in capital and R&D since 2000 to bulk up its capacity and lower manufacturing costs. It has four factories already producing 300-mm-sized wafers--the largest currently in use. The larger wafers produce about 2.5 times more chips per wafer than the prior-generation 200-mm wafers, helping to reduce the cost per individual component by 30%, Smith said.
By the end of the decade, Smith added, Intel expects to have devices with as many as four cores running up to eight threads each.