Intel has taped out its six-core processor running at 2.66Ghz, which it plans to release sometime in Q4 2008. Intel's six-core processor is currently codenamed Dunnington has 3 dual-core processors stuck with each other and run as a single packaged processor. The processor will require a new socket to run. But the good news is that Intel is able to extract good speeds from it.
Dunnington is a reply to AMD's 3-core processors (TriCore), which AMD had initially thought to be value-for-money for the customers. Intel on the other hand has no plans to sell Dunnington's for cheap and will be sold only as server processors, under the Xeon brand. The Dunnington processors have a huge cache of 16MB, which should be very attractive for applications that run a lot of threads. Another news has it that, Dunnington will be running a single thread per core, and does not use HyperThreading (HT) technology.
The last time I met an Intel Design Engineer from Bangalore, I had heard that Intel was much impressed by Sun's designs in Rock or Niagara 2. Lots of concurrent threads on a core are very good on servers. Intel seems to going forward with the core-race at the moment, but I expect a switch to more threads on a core very soon!!