14 May 2004 Semiconductor giant Intel has cancelled its next generation of single-core chips in favour of dual-core processors, which it hopes to roll out for desktops, notebooks and servers during 2005.
The company expects more than half of its mainstream chips sold in 2006 to be dual-core, entering at the high-end for more expensive PCs first.
The chips, which contain two processors side-by-side on the same silicon, will improve performance for desktops and notebooks since the two processors allow multiple jobs to be carried out simultaneously. A user, for example, can render a video on one core while running a PC’s operating system on the other.
This ability comes as an increasing number of programs, such as Microsoft’s updated version of its operating system, dubbed Longhorn, are being re-designed to handle multiple major operations at once.
In addition, the dual-core processor could also run at lower clock speeds, reducing overall heat and energy consumption, which has become more problematic for Intel as it moves its chips more aggressively into portable computers and consumer-electronic devices.
“The design paradigm has shifted at Intel,” said Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and chief operating officer. “All of our microprocessor development going forward is now multi-core.”
He went on to indicate that conventional microprocessors would quickly become a rarity.
Intel may also add 64 bit capabilities to its dual-core desktop chips, as it has done with its Xeon and Itanium server chips, in a bid to head-off the growing competition from its smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).