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Intel's 2007 guidance outlines the projected volume of each SKU by the end of the year

Intel's latest partner guidance revealed the shipment numbers it projects for 2007.

Two immediate things jump out for desktop projections: by Q4 2007, more than 85% of processor shipments will be at least dual-core; and by Q4 2007 the company only expects 5% of its desktop shipments to transition to quad-core.

Not only will dual-core take the center stage by Q4, but the company's guidance is also very clear about removing all 90nm SKUs before then as well -- no more Pentium D, Pentium 4, or Celeron D.  This means there will only be four major components floating around in the channel and for OEMs: 65nm quad-core processors (Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Quad), 65nm dual-core processors (Core 2 Duo), 65nm single-core Pentium E2000 and 65nm single-core Celeron 400.

All of these processors are in some way Conroe derivatives.  This is a large departure from Intel's 2006 channel where we had some 65nm Cedar Mill and Presler processors, a few 90nm Prescott and Smithfield derivatives and all the Core 2 Duo SKUs.  2008 will really be the first year in several where Intel will only support two generations of processors: Penryn and Conroe.

Intel's guidance expects approximately 5% of its Q4 2007 desktop market to transition to quad-core, approximately 70% to transition to dual-core Core 2 Duo, 20% to transition to single-core Pentium E2000 and the rest to fill in the single-core Celeron 400, which is really just the same as Pentium E2000 with half the L2 cache.

For the mobile business, the transition guide is much murkier.  Intel's guidance suggests that the company will even support the 90nm Dothan CPU in Q4 2007, though Core 2 Duo will assume 90% of the company's mobile volume by that time.  The rest of the market will fill in with legacy Yonah processors.

Intel's guidance for Q4 2007 on servers is also very clear: the company expects a 70-30 split between quad-core Clovertown and dual-core Woodcrest.  Where quad-core will only consume a small portion of the desktop market, the server market will be almost entirely dominated by quad-core.

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RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By OrSin on 2/1/2007 9:55:35 AM , Rating: 1
Quad core for the desktop is almost worthless. Dual core dont show big gains sine most apps are not mutil core aware.
Dual does help some since most user have alot application open at once. But open apps and running apps are not the same. Most users just dont run many cpu intensive apps a one time. And I did say most so dont flame me if you do.

And the desktop OS are just not good at assign CPU to takes. Wiht a Qaud cores most OS will jsut let 2 core stay idle even if programs could use the extra power. We are long way from using more then 2 core.

RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By StevoLincolnite on 2/1/2007 10:02:38 AM , Rating: 1
Actually there have been benchmarks and theories and conclusions. For instance, even a single core optimized game saw benefits running dual core, What that comes down to is, the Operating system Probably hogs 1 processor, whilst the game hogs the other. Such improvements should be noticeable under vista. I agree the benefits of quad core haven't yet been realized, I'm thinking of skipping the dual core, and going straight for quad, at least It will be future proofed of sorts.

RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By nerdboy on 2/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By TomZ on 2/1/2007 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong, it absolutely does. And really, it is not as complicated as you make it sound. It is just a question of the scheduler looking at all the threads that are runnable at a given moment, and then distributing them across the available cores. The effect of a very busy app running mainly on one core and the operating system services that support that app running on the other is a natural consequence. I've run SMT and SMT+HT for many years, and I see this all the time.

By theapparition on 2/2/2007 9:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
TomZ is quite correct.
Actually, Windows does a fantastic job of managing core utilization.

RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By TomZ on 2/1/2007 10:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
And the desktop OS are just not good at assign CPU to takes. Wiht a Qaud cores most OS will jsut let 2 core stay idle even if programs could use the extra power. We are long way from using more then 2 core.

What OS has a problem allocating threads to 4 cores? I ran both XP and Vista with 4 virtual cores (2 cores w/HT), and it seems to allocate threads just fine to all 4.

RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By OrSin on 2/1/07, Rating: -1
By Thorburn on 2/1/2007 1:16:36 PM , Rating: 5
IF you dont believe me just a program you know to be single thread and watch how both cores shoot up to same number.

No it doesn't, I've got a Pentium Extreme Edition 955 in my second system and you can fully load one core and one core only. Actually try it out before you talk.
Hyper-threadings MAIN advantage with Netburst chips was in helping compensate for pipeline stalls by quickly bringing a second thread in rather than wasting clock cycles but in specific cases it could run 2 threads simulataniously, albiet not in the same manner as 2 discrete cores (each thread had to only using a certain amount of instruction resources).

Also pretty much no program uses only one thread, unless you want the GUI to freeze whenever you do ANYTHING.
Turn on the Threads column in Task Manager (View, Select Columns).
Right now Steam is sat idle and has 35 threads, the Vista Sidebar has 15, my IRC client is using 11, 43 for MSN Messenger. Even a Java application displaying "Hello World" uses 9 threads for the virtual machine alone.

The thing is these threads are all relatively 'light', they sit waiting and when they come into action don't take much CPU time, and its these that HT can run together. Compare a Pentium 4 to a Pentium 4 with HT and you'll notice the HT is slightly quicker to react to mouse inputs when the system is heavily loaded (eg. clicking the Start menu while running Prime 95).

As the number of execution units increases (such as in Core 2 with a 4-issue core, as opposed to the 3-issue of Netburst or K8) then Hyper-threading could show more benefits.

By TomZ on 2/1/2007 2:35:30 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with Thorburn, and I would add to that 2 points:

1. Windows doesn't know any difference between virtual cores due to HT and true cores. To Windows, they are all the same. How do I know that? Because SMT support was included in Windows before Intel came out with HT, and when HT came out, it "just worked" with Windows without any changes.

2. Most apps use some operating system resources (ok, all apps do, really). So, even if I have an app that runs a single thread, it will be doing things like allocating memory, reading/writing files, drawing graphics, etc., and the operating system will tend to schedule threads associated with these activities onto other processor cores if the application's thread is busy. This scheduling is a natural part of Windows' support for SMT in terms of balancing the load across the available cores. And of course, as Thorburn already noted, almost no apps are truly single-threaded. Even if you wrote a truly single-threaded app whose GUI locked when it did work (bad idea), the libraries that your app uses probably have some of their own threads, separate from the OS threads I already mentioned.

RE: Great to see dual core mainstream
By hellokeith on 2/1/2007 10:57:33 AM , Rating: 4
Guess Gabe Newell will be disappointed. He said back in '06 that quad-core is really where gaming needs to be in order to fulfill the demands of graphics, sound, physics, artificial intelligence, feedback fx, etc. I don't see dual processor systems being anywhere near mainstream, even for the high-end gaming crowd. So maybe Gabe and the rest of the game developer community will stop making excuses and whining about how hard it is to multithread games and start coming up with solutions, particularly for the dual-core dominated market of the next 2-3 years.

By paydirt on 2/2/2007 1:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Dual processors are fairly cheap now, so I don't see WHY NOT the high-end gaming crowd would adopt them...? You can get a Core 2 Duo E6600 for $330, and soon that price will drop to the $2xx range.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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