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Intel: 90% of Cores to be Duo by year end

Single-core share of product mix cut

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Intel will begin producing more dual-core chips than single-core parts this quarter, the chip giant has revealed. Indeed, by the end of 2006, 90 per cent of the mobile CPUs it produces will be dual-core chips, rather more than the company previously forecast.

In the past, Intel has said it will go into 2007 with "over 70 per cent" of its mobile processor production taken up by dual-core offerings - primarily the current, 'Yonah' Core Duos, but also some next-generation 'Merom' parts too. But with the accelerated Merom release schedule announced last week - the chip will debut this coming August instead of some time in Q4 - Intel hopes its single-core to dual-core transition will gain a significant boost.

Intel is expecting Merom's desktop equivalent, "Conroe", will help in the desktop market too, but clearly to a much lesser extent. Last week, it said it will quit 2006 with 75 per cent of its desktop CPU production dedicated to dual-core offerings, up from the "over 70 per cent" it had previously forecast - the same figure as its previous portable prognostication.

Ironically, the move to Merom will be less advantageous for end users than adopting Conroe, Intel's own figures show. It reckons Merom delivers a performance boost of over 20 per cent above that delivered by the 2.16GHz Core Duo T2600. That compares with the greater than 40 per cent increase Conroe delivers over the 3.6GHz Pentium D 960.

Still, the big dual-core drive will come from Intel's server play, "Woodcrest", which it will reckons delivers more than 80 per cent more performance than a 2.8GHz Xeon DP and a 3x performance-per-Watt lead. Woodcrest, Intel said, will account for almost 75 per cent of its Xeon DP shipments by Q4. ®

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