Intel Prepares To Make Transition To Dual-Core

Tom Kilroy, president of Intel Americas, told CRN that the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker has been engaged in extensive dialogues with large OEMs and the channel since last year and believes it has correctly gauged what the market needs when the new chips ship.

Kilroy also appeared at the Intel Solution Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month, where he spoke to about 600 channel partners about the company's product road map, among other things.


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Though the transition from single-core to dual-core chips is considered a milestone for Intel—and has been widely anticipated since last year—a gradual rollout should keep the pipeline stable, Kilroy said.

"In terms of volume and magnitude, it's not going to be as significant as last year," Kilroy said, referring to the Prescott and Northwood transitions. While some pockets of channel and OEM demand were stronger than expected last year, imbalances from at least one large OEM caused an inventory buildup that slowed production for weeks.

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A second-quarter launch will focus on Intel's high-end desktop processors, targeted at "extreme" users such as gamers. Through early 2006, Intel will release dual-core processors for its server and mobile lines as well.

"It will be evolutionary," Kilroy said. "The one thing we're sure to do is build enough parts to meet mar- ket demand."

That message was later reiterated by Intel President Paul Otellini, according to solution providers at the conference.

"I'm excited," said Fred Schlaffer, president of B3, a Gwinn, Mich.-based system builder. Schlaffer said Otellini assured channel partners at the conference that the company would have an adequate supply of its dual-core desktop processors when they launch in the second quarter. "He said there was a commitment to get product on the shelves," Schlaffer said.

Kilroy also said Intel plans to open a supply facility in Miami later this year to create a more efficient pipeline on the East Coast.