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Monday, May 08, 2006
Intel Brands new Desktop, Laptop Chips

Intel on Sunday christened its new chips for laptop and desktop computers "Core 2 Duo," hoping to reignite interest in its products amid tough competition from rival AMD.

Formerly known as Conroe and Merom, the microchips boast two processing cores, meaning they are better at handling several tasks at once, such as crunching a spreadsheet while playing video. Intel says the chips are faster yet use less energy than previous processors, such as its flagship Pentium 4.

Intel released the Core Duo processor earlier this year. The Core 2 Duo name will be used for desktop chips based on the Conroe chip, as well as for notebook chips based on the Merom chip.

The Core 2 Duo chips will also have a model number that will indicate how much power it consumes and its relative performance. According to, the Conroe processors will fall into either the 4000 series or 6000 series, while Merom processors will use either the 5000 series or 7000 series numbers.

Each one of Intel's model numbers will be preceded by a letter that indicates how much power the chip consumes at its peak. For example, the Core 2 Duo E6800 processor would represent a dual-core Core-architecture processor that consumes between 55 watts and 75 watts of power, which Intel considers the standard desktop PC category. The hypothetical Core 2 Duo T5400 would represent a dual-core Core chip that consumes between 25 watts and 55 watts of power, a range Intel thinks is appropriate for most notebooks and some desktops.

The world's biggest maker of computer chips also said it will launch a new premium processor, dubbed "Core 2 Extreme," for high-performance enthusiasts.

Intel's microprocessors are used in more than 80 percent of personal computers, but the company has been losing market share to AMD and has seen shrinking profitability for several quarters in a row.

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