File this one under unconfirmed, but word on the web is that Intel plans to release a six-core Nehalem chip before the end of the year. Citing "sources close to Intel," Bit-tech says existing X58 motherboard owners should be able to drop the new chip into their motherboard with only a BIOS update, giving current Core i7 owners a tantalizing upgrade path to look forward to.
Not much else is known about the supposed six-core Nehalem, however those same sources did say the new chip won't fall into the Core i7 naming scheme. The name is still being worked out
Should this come to fruition, Intel would be the first to market with a six-core consumer desktop CPU. AMD earlier this month released a six-core part well ahead of schedule, but it's a server chip and not a desktop part. Intel also has an existing six-core processor in Xeon form, also intended for servers.