Multi-core processing for the PC took a leap forward when Justin Rattner (Intel's chief technology officer) made a demonstration of the companys first quad-core processor. An early production sample of the "Clovertown" processor, the final version of the chip is due for introduction in early 2007. The demonstration showed two Clovertown processors running commercial and experimental software.
Clovertown will be succeeding the Intel's "Woodcrest" processor, which is derived from the upcoming "Merom" mobile processor. Woodcrest (Xeon 5100) will be the last dual-core processor in Intel's performance volume server segment; Clovertown will be ringing in the "multi-core" era for Intel as a multi-die chip with 4 MB of L2 cache, according to industry sources. Clock speeds of Woodcrest and Clovertown are unknown at this time, but the alignment with Merom/Conroe suggests that we can expect speeds that top out well above 2.5 GHz.
Intel has a range of other quad-core processors in development, including the 65 nm desktop processor "Kentsfield" and the 65 nm server CPU "Whitefield". These are scheduled for introduction in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
The 45 nm production process will bring the quad-core single-die desktop chip "Bloomfield" as well as the first eight-core processors "Yorkfield" (desktop, 12 MB) and "Harpertown" (server, 12 MB) in late 2008 or early 2009.