Intel will offer manufacturers samples of its Penryn server chips before the planned launch later this year.

"We're now broadly sampling [Penryn] for all the various platforms," said John Antone, vice president and general manager of Intel Asia-Pacific.

Penryn is the code name given to the 45-nanometre versions of Intel's processors. The server version of the Penryn chips will be the first to hit the market, followed by mobile and desktop chips.

Intel hasn't said publicly when the Penryn launch will happen, except to say the chips will be available during the fourth quarter. The company hopes the chips will keep up the pressure on rival AMD, which has seen its server market share shrink in recent months.

The Penryn launch will happen after AMD's upcoming server chip, called Barcelona, hits the market. Originally scheduled for a mid-year launch, the quad-core Barcelona chips will begin shipping in August, and will be available in servers from September. AMD is betting the server chip's design and performance will stem its market share losses, but Intel remains confident that Penryn will extend its lead.

Preparations for Penryn's impending launch come as Intel appears to have regained its mojo, following several missteps last year.

On Tuesday, Intel reported a 44-percent increase in second-quarter profit, to US$1.3 billion. Lower selling prices for its microprocessors during the period were offset by higher than expected unit shipments, the company said.