Intel Launches Quad-Core Q8300, Keeps Calpella on Track

The company is on a hiring spree for its new Fab 68 in Dalian, China

The successful launch of its Nehalem-based CPUs on November 17th determined Intel to launch a new processor, Q8300, rated at 2.5GHz, which is said to come on Sunday. The chip is a quad-core that sports FSB 1333 and 4MB of L2 cache, and is reported to have a price tag set at $224. The CPU features similarities with the company's Core 2 Quad Q9300 which sells for $266, and is placed on top of Q8200 clocked at 2.33GHz and Q6600 running at 2.4GHz, which cost $193 and $183 respectively.

According to the news published by Fudzilla, the Q8300 chip marks the end of the quad-core Intel processors' launch frame, at least for a while. The chip maker is said to focus on other CPUs from now on, although some quad-cores could also surface. The company is reported to plan focusing on the adoption of its existing products, including the Centrino 2 platform, which is said to have seen only a 30 percent penetration of the market.

Stanley Huang, director of marketing and technical services of Intel's Asia Pacific division, said in a statement that the Santa Clara based chip manufacturer would pay more attention to boost its Centrino 2 platform's penetration rate. Huang also denied the rumors that the company's upcoming Calpella platform might get delayed for a 2010 launch. He added that the work on the platform was going according to plans and the product would be launched as scheduled.

On related news, we learn that Intel has completed the first wave of recruitments for its new 12-inch fab in Dalian, China Fab 68, hiring overlapped dismissals from global semiconductor players, said industry sources. Moreover, most of the recruitments were made from the Beijing plant of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and Hynix Semiconductor's Wuxi plant layoffs.

Intel previously announced planning on recruiting 1,200 employees for Fab 68 in the beginning, 800 of them being talent home grown in China. Fab 68 is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009, while commercial production should start in the first half of 2010 using a 90nm process node. While Intel recruits personal, SMIC and Qimonda are reported to be cutting their production in China, and Elpida Memory seems to have suspended its objective to build a 12-inch fab in Suzhou in cooperation with He Jian Technology.

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