A six-core chip could be on the cards from Intel, which could seriously shake up the computer processor market.

A slide which seemed to show a "Dunnington" version of Xeon chip with six Penryn processing cores has managed to leak onto the internet after it was "mistakenly" included in a Sun Microsystems presentation.

The slide showed that the three pairs of cores share a 3MB level 2 cache, which means that all six cores would then share a 16MB level 3 cache.

The slide suggests that the new chip will arrive in the second half of this year.

The big chip makers has so far developed two- and four-core processors, but Sun Microsystems has an eight-core chip as well.

According to Channel Register, Intel first introduced the idea of the Dunnington in 2005, marketing it as a Xeon chip made for larger servers.

The chip will ship as part of the Caneland platform and be pin compatible with Intel's Tigerton processors. In addition, it will work with the Clarksboro chipset, the website continues.

The Sun presentation also included details of two new Nehalem chips, which will feature two-core, four-core and eight-core models, and are expected to be available later this year.

CRN reports that both companies are remaining tight-lipped on the reports.

It adds that an Intel spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the authenticity of the presentation, but did tell vnunet.com that the Nehalem chips were on track for release this year.

Sun did not return a request for a comment on the reports.