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50 percent of notebooks to sport quad-core CPUs by 2015

IHS Suppli's crystal ball shows almost half of all notebooks to be quad-core and 18% to be hexa-core in a few years

Notebooks in the near future will undoubtedly become more powerful, but at least one firm is forecasting the performance of future notebooks more closely.

According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, almost 50% of all notebooks shipped in 2015 will come standard with quad-core processors. For comparison’s sake, the firm claims only 9% of today’s notebooks have quad-core hardware.

“The battle now has moved from the dual-core segment into the quad-core area – and next will spread to the six-core realm,” said IHS principal analyst Matthew Wilkins. Eventually, hexa-core notebooks will begin to emerge more quickly as mainstream quad-core notebooks become the norm. By 2015, IHS sees 18% of all notebooks to be equipped with hexa-core processors by 2015, equating to more than 58.9 million notebooks.

The firm also addressed concerns about why mainstream notebook manufacturers should continue to offer more and more powerful hardware to consumers. “Good-enough computing has become a firm reality, exemplified first by [netbooks] and now media tablets,” said senior research analyst Jay Chou. Therefore, Chou sees PC vendors persuading consumers that quad- and hexa-core notebooks will offer an increasingly more compelling user experience that will justify the added costs.

For notebooks, the foreseeable future may see a battle for the largest number of cores rather than higher megahertz or gigahertz. If the predictions from iSuppli are true, your next notebook may just be equipped with a quad or even hexa-core CPU.

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Allen Ngo, 2011-07-14 (Update: 2012-05-26)