Intel has never had such a cash cow as the Core architecture. When Intel released the Pentium brand name, Intel made a name for itself as the high point for computer processors. It wasn't till AMD's Athlon family hit the shelves and made us look at the chip giant.
Since then Intel has managed to make hit and miss products, Netburst was a definite miss, Bannis, Dothan and Yohna were definite hits. Intel has simply had to learn that its name isn't big enough to muscle the hardware industry anymore, it now has to compete with products that people are going to want, rather than telling the people what Intel wants them to buy.
Core architecture is Intel's biggest hit since Bannis made its debut to the mobile sector. Core architecture builds on what Intel learnt from Netburst and adds this to the architecture that the Pentium-M used so well.
Dual Core technology has also come a long way since Intel first released its Pentium-D and Pentium Extreme Edition processors. Intel's first attempts at dual core simply were not what the industry wanted or needed. Intel's way of core to core communication required requests to be made across the Front Side Bus, where AMD Athlon 64 X2's communicated across a dedicated interconnect on the CPU die that linked the two cores directly to the memory controller.
Core and Core 2 changed all this with the idea of the CPU's communicating across a shared L2 cache bus that connects the die's to a single L2 memory cache on the CPU die. This reduced the latency with core to core communication by over half, as no longer did they need to go across the FSB.
Today Intel has upped the ante with the first available Quad core CPU to hit the market. Today we test the Core 2 Quad Q6700.