VIA JOINED what seems be a pell-mell rat-race to produce X86 based processing last week, but it's still very unclear what performance benefits - if any - the technology is going to bring us. All three companies remain deliberately vague about the performance benefits of dual core microprocessors, but it's clear that abandoning the megahertz madness that we've written about for years is part of the picture. The frequencies of the two cores in one package will be less than than the clock speeds on roadmaps - whether they're disguised as PR+ ratings or in other ways - that we've been used to.
Of the three X86 companies now committed to producing dual cores, AMD has so far disclosed the most details about its products and it's also more than likely that its chips will be first out of the gates in 2005. Intel won't be that far behind - three desktop "Smithfield" SKUs, with the unlikely numbers X40, X30 and X20 (See here), will have done all of their sampling by the second quarter of next year, ready for the traditional sales cycle through distributors and re-sellers that starts to accelerate every August.
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News source: The Inq