Intel to tape out first 45 nm processor by year-end

Santa Clara (CA) - Despite a quarter result that did not quite show the strength of the traditional Intel, the processor manufacturer apparently is on its way up again. During a conference call, chief executive officer Paul Otellini back up the claim of the promised massive launch of its recently introduced Core micro architecture.

According to Otellini, the company shipped more than six million Core microprocessors, which include the DP server chip Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest core), the desktop-focused Core 2 Duo E-series (Conroe core) and the mobile Core 2 Duo T-series (Merom core). He did not provide further details on production numbers but mentioned that the Q2 and Q3 production included more than one million Xeon 5100 processors - more than 40% of Intel's DP server chip shipments - and confirmed an earlier TG Daily report that first quad-core processors have shipped for revenue during the quarter.

The executive also said that Intel so far has shipped more than 40 million 65 nm processors (Core Duo, Pentium D 900, Core 2 Duo, Xeon 5100). The company already produces more 65 nm CPUs than older 90 nm versions. The first of a total 15 processors which will be built in a 45 nm process is scheduled to be taped out before the end of the year.

The dramatic wave of price reductions especially in the desktop processors appears to be settling down, as Core 2 Duo processors have moved deep into the mainstream and Intel is positioning the slowly fading Pentium brand on the lower end of its portfolio. Otellini said that the desktop space remains "very competitive" and Intel feels "comfortable" with Pentium processors being sold at lower price points. In response to an analyst question he said that Intel "reserves the right" to keep the Pentium brand alive "over the course of next year on the low-end or even the value segment."