Intel is expected to launch the first quad-core chips next week, stealing a march on AMD.
The launch date has not been confirmed by Intel, but Computer Weekly has learned that a number of leading IT suppliers are readying their own product announcements to tie in with Intel's launch.
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Briefings have been organised by the likes of HP next week to demonstrate what the more powerful quad-core chips can do on its platforms, and IBM is also expected to respond, although Big Blue refused to confirm any details.
The chipmaker brought forward the planned launch of its quad-core server and desktop processors to this year. Intel had been expected to launch quad-core chips in the first half of next year, but the company is now throwing down the gauntlet to smaller rival AMD.
Intel's quad-core Xeon server processor is codenamed Clovertown, and its desktop processor is known as Kentsfield. Both Intel and AMD already sell dual-core chips, which are chips with two processing engines on a single slice of silicon.
The Intel quad-core processors consist of two dual-core chips joined together, but with each package plugging into a single processor socket. Such a solution may not perform as well as one where all the cores are built on a single piece of silicon.
AMD is expected to launch its first quad-core chips in mid-2007. Its offering will see all the cores fixed onto a single slice of silicon, potentially improving the performance offered by Intel.
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