C|Net has an interview with Intel's General Manager of the Digital Enterprise Group, Pat Gelsinger, on-line today. Pat talks about the convergence of the Itanium and Xeon platforms, the projected life-span of hafnium and metal gate transistors, and the heterogeneous versus homogeneous multicore debate going on within Intel.
I expect that debate to be going until 2020, and I expect--in my crystal ball--different market segments coming to different conclusions in that discussion. You can clearly envision--and this is an easier discussion to have after IDF (Intel Developer Forum) than it is today, so we'll have to have the next installment of this discussion after April 17--but you can see the lower end of the product line having homogeneous, little cores.
You could imagine the midrange of the product saying: "We need some big cores, for performance, but little cores are more efficient for certain portions of the workload." You can imagine some embedded applications where you have big cores but with some special-purpose cores for other, specific applications, maybe XML acceleration or packet processing or other things like that--a range of building blocks, from little cores to big cores to special purpose cores. You now have a fabric of choices to mix and match for the market segment.