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Intel's Dual-Core Plans

The chipmaker is expected to deliver a dual-core Xeon in the fourth quarter.
Intel appears ready to accelerate its dual-core and multicore processor efforts. A dual-core Xeon will be available in the fourth quarter, a knowledgeable source says, and the company has said it will unveil a "next-generation multicore architecture" at the Intel Developer Forum on Aug. 23.

The company wouldn't provide specifics about its next-generation architecture before the forum being held in San Francisco. But Rob Chapman, general manager of the Intel Developer Forum, says products from the new architecture will be introduced in the second half of 2006 and "will be encompassing, going across platforms and across businesses."

The next-generation architecture will include a focus on improved energy efficiency and multicore capabilities, and will be used within all its processor lines for PCs, servers, and handheld devices, Chapman says. As well as being multicore, the new architecture is expected to include further integration of the company's "embedded IT," including virtualization and active management, and will provide lower power dissipation.

Intel will begin delivery of its first dual-core Xeon processors in the fourth quarter this year, according to a source familiar with Intel's plan. Intel has fallen behind rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which already has introduced dual-core versions of its Athlon PC processor and Opteron server processor lines. Intel has released dual-core versions of its Pentium processor line, including the dual-core Pentium D, which is being used in low-end server systems by Dell.

A speeded-up delivery of the dual-core Xeon has fueled speculation that Intel also plans to speed introduction of the next phase in multicore processors, which would integrate four processing cores in a single chip.