Intel to launch Core 2 Quad next January

Intel will launch the Core 2 Quad chip for high-end desktops at CES in Las Vegas the week of January 8. The new chip follows in the wake of launches made by Intel last November, during which the Xeon 5300 quad-core for servers and the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 for gamers were presented.

Quad-core chips can handle complex tasks faster than single-core chips, using multi-threaded software tasked with breaking each job down into smaller pieces so that they can be processed simultaneously. These types of chips are most popular with users of servers and workstations running programs aimed at creating high-end games and digital content.

Intel plans to target this new processor to a broader user segment, although it will continue to focus on processor-intensive programs that are prepared for multithreaded execution, such as entertainment activities, games and multimedia. In the long term, the manufacturer plans to employ multi-core processors as the engine for a comprehensive framework of technology platforms in the digital home, office, business world and mobile markets.

Intel relies on the new design to help it gain market share in the processor market, where it has lost significant share due to AMD’s dual-core Opteron and Athlon chips. In response, AMD has released demo versions of the upgraded revision of its quad-core Opteron chip (codenamed “Barcelona”), although it does not plan to start selling the chip until the second half of 2007.