Intel's dual-core desktop processors to ship in Q3 2005

Chicago (IL) - Intel provided system builders with a comprehensive update about its desktop, mobile and enterprise product lines for 2005 and 2006. According to documents seen by THG, Intel will launch its first dual-core desktop processor in the third quarter of next year; a mobile dual-core will follow in the first quarter of 2006.

Shelving plans for the 4 GHz Pentium 4, aka 580J, does not mean that Intel's plans for new products are losing steam. Instead, industry sources indicate that Intel has two busy years ahead with a range of new processors, new platform architectures and product enhancements.

On November 1, the company will introduce the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (EE) with 3.46 GHz and a 1066 MHz FSB. The EE 3.73, which will support Intel's EM64T 64-bit extension, has been moved from a scheduled introduction late this year to the first quarter of 2005 and will be the first Pentium 4 to support "XD", Intel's version of NX technology designed to protect computer systems from buffer overflow hacker attacks.

The 6xx-series of Pentium 4 HT processor family will be extended with models 630, 640, 650, 660 and 670 (3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8 GHz, respectively) in the first and second quarter of 2005. Compared to the regular 5xx-family, these models will include a L2 cache increased from one to two MByte. Intel hopes that this enhancement will increase speed with applications that require faster memory access. The Celeron D 350 (3.2 GHz) will be introduced in the second quarter of next year.

The first dual-core desktop processors, code-named "Smithfield", will be organized into a new product number, likely to receive the number sequence 8xx. The 820 (2.8 GHz), 830 (3.0 GHz), and 840 (3.2 GHz) are expected in the third quarter of next year. The chips will come with 2 x 1 MByte L2 cache, EM64T extensions, XD and will be supported by the upcoming Glenwood and Lakeport platforms. Intel said that 40 percent of the desktop mainstream segment ($800 and higher) will see dual-core systems by the end of 2006. Intel will continue using the LGA775 packaging with Smithfield processors.

Further additions to the desktop platform are the introductions of a SpeedStep variant to reduce power consumption (2005), Active Management Technology (AMT, 2005) Vanderpool technology (hardware virtualization, 2006) and La Grande (hardware-based security features based on standards from the Trusted Computing Group, 2006).

Intel's mobile processors will receive a PCI Express upgrade through mobile chipsets 915GM, PM, GMS, GML and 910 GML (formerly code-named Sonoma platform). Integrated graphics will provide roughly double the performance of the previous platform (855GME). The chipsets will also offer tri-mode wireless (802.11 a/b/g). An upgraded 90 nm Pentium M processor (Dothan) comes with a 533 MHz FSB, high-definition audio and XD support.

For the first quarter of 2006, Intel plans to launch its dual-core processor Centrino platform "Napa" for thin and light notebooks. The supporting dual-core Yonah processor is scheduled to start shipping in the fourth quarter of 2005 with a 667 MHz FSB, enhanced power saving features and AMT. By the end of 2006, 50 percent the performance segment of the notebook market will be dominated by dual-cores, Intel said.