14.jpgThe Next Big Battle of the Processors

Change is the only constant in the computing industry. For years we’ve become used to the Intel Pentium 4 and AMD 64 processors in their single-core incarnations. Now AMD and Intel are flooding the market with dual-core CPUs, while the hardware manufacturers match the new technology with specialized motherboards and other dual-core ready components. Before long we’ll only refer to legacy computers as Pentium 4 machines.

Even now, the manufacturers’ new model CPUs are called Intel Core2 Duo, with no reference to Pentium. But just as we’re adjusting to the power of dual-core performance – we’re just around the corner from quad-chip immersion in the marketplace.

Behold the Next Performance Generation

Even though dual-core processors went mainstream in 2005, Intel and AMD are pumping the volume on their next generation quad-core processors. The first quad chip, the Intel Core2 Extreme quad-core processor is slated to emerge in November, with the manufacturer claiming it will pack a 70-percent performance improvement over its dual chip CPUs.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini says it best:“The industry is going through the most profound shift in decades, moving to an era where performance and energy efficiency are critical in all market segments and all aspects of computing,” Otellinisaid. “The solution begins with the transistor and extends to the chip and platform levels.”

And that’s just the beginning, according to Otellini, who says Intel chips will deliver a 300 percent performance improvement performance per watt over the next four years. Meantime, AMD isn’t fading away while Intel cranks out its new quad cores.

AMD Chief Executive Hiector Ruiz says:“We believe the purpose of our company is to reinvent the dynamics of the microprocessor industry.” Meanwhile, Dirk Meyer, AMD’s processor division president writes, “We think at AMD the move toward platforms is a good trend.” Meyer says, “it signals a move away from speeds and feeds and a random grab bag of features.”

According to Meyer, AMD will focus on the end value for the end-user community. That’s you and me!

Sources: Intel Press Release and 64bit World.