Intel pulls Conroe forward to July '06

DigiTimes reports today, citing those ever-so secretive sources at motherboard makers, that Intel has altered its plans to introduce is next-generation CPU architecture (which we discussed in our coverage of Fall IDF). This new desktop processor was first expected to launch in the second half of 2006, and that vague time-frame generally translates to very late in the year. Instead, the word now is Conroe will arrive alongside the 965 chipset in July 2006, as many as six months ahead of schedule.

DigiTimes often nails stories like this one, and I happen to believe they've gotten this story right, based on rumblings I've heard from inside the industry. The Pentium M-derived Conroe could very well make Intel extremely competitive with AMD once again in the desktop space, in terms of both outright performance and performance per watt. Conroe will be a dual-core design manufactured on Intel's new 65nm fab process, and its target TDP, or rough thermal load, is only 65W. If these rumors prove true, the Athlon 64 X2 may get a real run for its money this summer.

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