So two cores are better than one, well four cores will be better than two. It’s not rocket science really, and the doubling looks ready to begin again in Q1.
The word from camp AMD is that it will have quad core Opteron’s in early 2006. At this stage there’s no word whether it will be a reduced 65nm product (90nm is the current fabrication size), or when we’ll see the consumer orientated Athlons, but these things have a habit of snowballing.
Castle Intel doesn’t want to be left out of proceedings either and it seems a refocus on all matters x86 has been ordered (since we can safely say “Round One: Dual Core” went comfortably to AMD). Talk is of a quad core processor being ready by the middle of the year, but details remain painfully vague. This is one race Intel really needs to get a move on with, or risk getting left behind.
Hopefully some preliminary die shots will emerge sooner rather than later - primarily because I think the ones for dual core (above – AMD left, Intel right) are kinda pretty in a hallucinogenic, cyber, art-nuvo sort of way. Wishes for 2006: a quad core notebook with 802.11n wireless, WiMAX and wireless USB. (Well, I can dream)