1. The new CPUs: dual-core, power-saving, ambiguously named products
In 2005, AMD took the lead in bringing dual-core CPUs to market first. The only way for Intel to make a comeback was if it could make a roaring one. Never underestimate Intel. While the company's shift toward power consumption as a performance indicator, replacing clock frequency, will probably baffle both customers and retailers for some time to come, Intel is making serious headway by moving rapidly toward 65 nm production, with its "Cedar Mill," "Presler," and "Conroe" architectures. Still, as we reported last October, AMD bested Intel for the first time by selling more CPUs to retail customers in the US than its competitor. Is AMD winning the "Duel-Core Challenge?" We'll know more about the state of that battle next week, as we're certain to see some form of a showdown at the Consumer Electronics Show. There, Intel may possibly publicly reveal its new logo, and formally unveil its new processor nomenclature. Get ready to be bedazzled and confused...but not for long, because we'll do our best to explain it all in 2006.