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Components | July 13, 2011

Quad-Core microprocessors conquer the world

After making major inroads into the desktop market, quad-core PC microprocessors now are set to conquer the notebook segment, with about half of the mobile computers shipped in 2015 expected to employ these advanced chips, states IHS iSuppli.

A total of 49% of notebooks in 2015 will employ quad-core microprocessors, up from 9% in 2011. Shipments of quad-core notebooks will total 160 million units in 2015, up by nearly a factor of eight from 21.2 million in 2011. Shipments of six-core microprocessors also are on the rise, with 18% of notebooks shipping with the technology in 2015, up from zero in 2011. Shipments will total 58.9 million units in 2015. Recent product introductions in this area include Intel's six-core Core i7-970, as well as Advanced Micro Devices's six-core Phenom II X6 processors, with both processors currently aimed at the desktop market. The rise of multi-core microprocessors illustrates the ongoing march of technology in the PC market, even amid the incredible rise in consumer sales of lower-performance media tablets. The PC industry continues to refine its products by improving performance, refining the design blocks around the system and adding new features. Along with the move toward higher-performance multi-core designs, notebook PC microprocessors also are evolving to suit mobile lifestyles. Today’s consumers are demanding computers that can be used on the go, all day. One such evolution is the recently introduced graphics-enabled microprocessor, which places the graphics processor actually on the processor die. While in their early stages today, such microprocessors will be found in excess of 90 percent of notebooks sold in 2015. These chips deliver improved power management of the on-chip graphics unit, although in terms of graphics performance, are not able to outperform standalone graphics processing units used in discrete graphics cards.
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