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Thursday, July 20, 2006, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Intel's first quad-core chips to arrive this year

Intel Corp. this week said it's bumping up the release of its quad-core desktop and server chips to the fourth quarter of this year from their previous target date of early 2007.

"We notified customers that we're pulling in both a desktop and server of the first quad-core processors into the fourth quarter of this year from the first half of 2007," Intel chief executive Paul Otellini said during the company's earnings call on Wednesday.

The chips, code-named Kentsfield (desktop) and Clovertown (server), were announced by Intel execs at dates earlier this year and are candidates to appear in future revisions of Apple's Mac product lines.

In February, Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner said the company planned to roll out Clovertown — its first quad-core chip — by early 2007. Kentsfield was announced with a similar roll-out date during the company's semiannual developers conference the following month.

Also on Wednesday, Otellini confirmed reports that Intel is pushing ahead the release of another chip, its Core 2 Duo notebook processor formerly code-named Merom.

According to Otellini, Merom is due to launch in a few weeks. The chip is expected to closely follow the release of its desktop counterpart, Conroe, which is currently in production ahead of its July 27th launch.

According to DigiTimes, Intel plans for over 50 percent of its notebook processor shipments in the first quarter of 2007 to be Merom chips, making its 64-bit dual-core model the mainstream for the notebook market.