Speculation on the next stage of Apple's move to Intel processors now focuses on what chip will power the future Power Mac replacing Mac Pro machines.

AppleInsider this morning reports that Apple has chosen to use a brand-new Intel chip, 'Woodcrest', in its future professional desktop Macs.

Woodcrest was officially unveiled last month by Intel as the Xeon 5100. These processors carry a 4MB L2 cache and reach speeds of up to 3.0GHz on a 1333MHz front side bus. The chips are otherwise pretty much identical to the recently revealed Core 2 Duo Extreme desktop processor called 'Conroe'.

The chip architecture is highly advanced, allowing one of the two built-in processors to use all available system memory if the other processor is idle.

The report speculates that Apple will offer a high-end dual processor Mac Pro, alongside a lower-priced single processor entry-level machine.