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Looking to capitalize on its first-to-market quad-core processors, Intel plans to announce its Core 2 Quad for commercial PCs at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, an industry source told eWEEK.

The latest quad-core offering from the Santa Clara, Calif., company will join five other quad-core chips that Intel has already released for servers. Intel has also released the Core 2 Extreme quad-core QX6700 for high-end systems.

The CES show officially kicks off Jan. 8. The industry source, who spoke to eWEEK on the condition of anonymity, said the newest quad-core processor will likely be announced “sometime next week.”

An Intel spokesman said the company has no comment at this time.

The Core 2 Quad will be marketed toward mainstream desktop users, and Intel will use CES to show consumers the performance enhancement quad-core chips offer versus dual-core chips, especially with downloading items such as music and movies.

Specific details about the configurations of the Core 2 Quad, such as Front Side Bus architecture, performance per watt, cache memory and price, were sketchy. However, it appears that the processors will run at the 2.4GHz speed that Intel officials described at the company’s Developer Forum in San Francisco on Sept. 26.

In addition to the Core 2 Quad, Intel officials plan to release two other quad-core Xeon processors that are designed for servers in the first quarter of this year. The first chip is a low-voltage processor for ultra-dense deployments with a TDP—a term that refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate—of 50 watts. The second chip is designed for either a single-socket workstation or server.

By comparison, the Core 2 Extreme runs at 2.66GHz and consumes about 130 watts of power.

On Nov. 14, Intel beat rival Advanced Micro Devices to the quad-core market by offering four Xeon processors that use 65-nanometter technology and offer 1.5 times the processing power of the dual-core chip.

Click here to read more about the official Intel launch of the quad-core Xeon processor.

Intel has manufactured its quad-core processors by combining a pair of dual-core chips in a single package. AMD, by comparison, has touted its design, which will combine four cores on a single piece of silicon, as the superior quad-core offering.

The AMD quad-core, code-named Barcelona, is not scheduled to hit the market until the middle of 2007.

Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates in Concord, Mass., said that any announcement by Intel at CES about a quad-core offering will help continue the momentum the company gained back in November with the original announcement.

The one drawback to a quad-core-powered desktops, Kay said, is that the software applications that could really show off the processing power have not been developed. The one benefit, he said, is if users want to run multiple tasks at the same time. For example, Kay said users could have the anti-virus software running in the background constantly with e-mail in the foreground and another application, such as a video, all running as well.

“I think the company would want to make a big splash at CES,” Kay said. “It looks like they want to take something that had been scheduled for later, bring it up and then show it off for the consumer base and claim it’s the hottest thing out there.”

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