Intel aims for one million quad-core processors by mid-2007

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Santa Clara (CA) - The production volume of Intel's quad-core processors is still very limited, but the company hopes to deliver a total of one million Kentsfield and Clovertown processors by the time AMD announces its first processor with four cores.

According to chief executive officer Paul Otellini, the one million mark is scheduled to be reached by mid of this year. He did not comment on the production share of quad-cores, but considering the fact that the company started shipping the processors in November of last year as well as an annual processor production volume of around 150 million CPUs, both Kentsfield and Clovertown are on the very bottom of the list.

However, if Intel reaches this goal, we would expect the company to use the number to counter AMD's introduction of the Barcelona (server/workstation) and Agena (desktop) quad-core processors, which are due late in Q2 or early in Q3 of this year. The company is currently shipping nine different versions of quad-core processors, including seven Xeon 5300-series versions as well as the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 as well as the recently announced Core 2 Quad Q6600.

During the Q4 earnings call, Otellini also mentioned that Intel has working samples of the 45 nm Penryn processor, scheduled for delivery in the second half of this year. Penryn will be a die-shrink of the current Core 2 Duo processors and is expected to deliver lower consumption and higher performance - especially in floating point scenarios. Otellini's remarks that Penryn is booting on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS as well as Linux suggest that processor's validation process is already in full swing.