It’s 2006 and the wait is over for the next generation Intel and Apple products. The many months of anticipation brings some interesting news. Intel used the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as it’s launching point for the Core Duo processor, based on the Pentium M processor. The two cores can process information simultaneously, or used by the operating system to extend multitasking for rapid media creation.
The Core Duo was designed for high performance, but at low power, extending the life of a portable computer, or reducing the cooling load on a lightweight desktop. At CES 2006, Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, announced the rapid adoption of the Core Duo technology. It took Intel one year to ship the first one millionth Pentium processor, but plans to ship the one millionth Core Duo processors in just three weeks.
Core Duo will land in Microsoft Windows PC’s, the new media platform called VIIV, and the newest family of Apple Computer products called MacBook Pro and iMac. In previous incarnations of high penetration desktop and laptop computers, the highest volume processors included the Pentium and PowerPC lines of chips, but with Apple coming aboard the Intel train, only AMD stands alone.
In June 2005, Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, announced that every version of Mac OS X since its inception has been compiled and performance tested to run of both PowerPC and Intel processors. In order for Mac developers to reap the full benefits of the Intel transition, a new type of application called a Universal Binary will have to be delivered, which will have the ability to run natively on either a PowerPC or Intel architecture. Applications from legacy PowerPC systems will run using a code translation technology called Rosetta.
At Macworld 2006, Apple released the Core Duo iMac and Core Duo MacBook Pro. Each machine shares the same family of graphics engine, the ATI Radeon X1600 GPU, and both have memory expandable to 2 GB. Both systems have a built in iSight cameras for video conferencing, quick snapshots, or rudimentary podcasting. The performance increase from previous systems is astounding, with at least 2X performance increase on the iMac and perhaps as much as 4X increase on the MacBook Pro as compared to the PowerBook G4. Apple has two major product leaps.