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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Intel begins shipping dual-core processors

In a widely anticipated release, Intel made an official pronouncement that it has started to ship its first dual-core processor platform.

The platform includes the Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840, with a 3.2-GHz clock speed, and the Intel 955X Express chip set.

The company said the dual-core processor is primarily designed for "computer hobbyists and entertainment enthusiasts." Intel listed Alienware, Dell, and Velocity Micro as PC makers who have started to sell desktops and workstations based on the dual-core processor.

"This platform empowers computer users to take advantage of high-definition video, high-quality sound, and 3-D visualization for their audio, video, digital design, and gaming tasks," said Don MacDonald, vice president of Intel's Digital Home group, in a statement.

Intel has more than 15 multicore projects underway in the desktop, mobile, and server spaces and plans to roll out its dual-core Pentium-based platform during the second quarter.

The dual-core platform should be beneficial for design engineers, according to Kevin Krewell, senior analyst with market research firm In-Stat (a corporate sibling of EDN). "On the workstation side of things, things like mechanical and electrical CAD software will help take dual-core to the next step by making further improvements," Krewell said. "And this is also good for engineers for multiprocessing based things, such as two-way workstations and servers produced in volume."

Intel clearly timed the announcement to one-up AMD, which is expected to launch its own dual-core offering Thursday at its annual Opteron anniversary event in New York, Krewell said. Intel is going after the client side of the market and AMD the server side, as well as high-end desktops. The companies will overlap in targeting workstations, he added.

Intel also announced today it has launched its first WiMax product, dubbed Intel PRO/Wireless 5116. The company said that several service providers will begin commercial WiMax trials based on this chip set later this year.

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