Intel to Take the Wraps Off Next-Gen Processors

Intel CEO Paul Otelliniis Aug. 23 keynote speech that kicks off the Fall Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco will introduce the companyis next-generation processor architecture, according to an article at MacCentral. Rob Chapman, IDFis general manager, confirmed those plans earlier in the week.

According to reporter Tom Krazit, Intelis upcoming multi-core processors, which should arrive in late 2006, use an architecture "inspired by [Intelis] Pentium M notebook processor, which de-emphasizes clock speed and concentrates on managing power consumption." Codenamed Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest, the upcoming processors will be better able to manage performance without producing excessive heat, resulting in the end of life for Intelis Pentium 4 and Xeon chips.

Mr. Krazit reports that Merom is designed for use with laptops while Conroe is a desktop processor and Woodcrest is aimed at servers. He cites "several sources familiar with Intelis plans" who claim that the Merom will be the first line of processors released. He adds that Mr. Chapman has declined to say whether the new chips will use two processor cores or four.

Once details are released on Aug. 23, Mac users should have a better idea of what to expect from the first Intel-based Macs, which will ship sometime in 2006. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that he expects the company to complete its switch to Intel processors by the end of 2007. While Apple has refused to say which computers will make the move first, most analysts expect the consumer models -- iMac, eMac, iBook and Mac mini -- to make the initial leap, followed by the professional line -- Power Mac, PowerBook and Xserve -- in 2007.