The single-core processor is apparently all but history, as major server vendors Hewlett-Packard and IBM brought out new systems last week based on Intel's dual-core chips.
With the moves by IBM, HP and others to use the new chips, Intel is projecting that by the end of this year, 85% of all processor shipments from the company will be dual core, a spokesman said.
By late June HP will largely have dual-core capability across its entire set of two- and four-way servers, "from the least expensive all the way to the top end", said John Gromala, director of server product marketing. HP's remaining single-socket systems will be updated later this year with dual-core capabilities, he said.
Intel Xeon dual-core chips will also be the dominant processor in the new ProLiant and BladeSystem servers HP will ship next month.
HP said the Xeon-based systems will triple the performance of the new systems — not only because of the processors but also as a result of a redesign of the subsystems, including memory, storage and management controllers, to support the new technology.
Meanwhile, IBM announced plans to start shipping three new System x servers running Intel's dual-core chips in June.
Intel's dual-core processors include the low-end Xeon dual-core 5000 series of chips, codenamed Dempsey, and high-end systems that will be based on the Xeon 5160 processor, or Woodcrest, which has about 3.1 times the performance of the single-core Xeon processor.
Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at IT research firm Illuminata in New Hampshire, US, said dual-core systems deliver a performance boost because they can handle multithreaded applications, which can be bandwidth intensive.