Intel is High on Silicon

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Intel Monday said the road to the future starts with silicon.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, which has invested millions in research and development in such alternative computing technologies like nanotubes, says that green stuff that drives modern technology, “is the convergence engine that powers a new era of computing.”

“We are on the cusp of creating exciting new technologies that allow all computers to communicate and all communication devices to compute. This will be fueled by silicon advances that enable new levels of integration,” Intel president Paul Otellini told attendees at the company’s Developers Forum here. “Intel’s advanced 90-nanometer silicon technology will bring logic and communications capabilities together on the company’s manufacturing lines for the first time ever.”

Otellini says personal computers and servers are now joining with high performance networks, mixing gigabit Ethernet LANs, fiber optic transport systems and modular communications infrastructures to connect the world together. Communications gear such as handheld devices, cell phones, network processors and emerging devices now provide tremendous computational abilities.

In that way, Intel said its role would be to expedite this convergence by delivering silicon-based platforms and common development environments.

“While the computing and communications industries are going through their largest correction in history, investments in emerging technologies, exciting products and more robust infrastructure continue,” said Otellini,

Flexing its technology muscle, Intel was not shy about talking about its recent advancements.

For example, Intel’s new Banias platform represents the No. 1 chipmaker’s first completely redesigned microprocessor for mobile customers. The chip is expected to be available in the first half of 2003 along with a related chipset (code named Odem).

In addition, Intel demonstrated an Intel Pentium 4 processor operating at 3 gigahertz (GHz). Otellini said the speedy chip would be available this year with Hyper-Threading Technology, which was previously only available for enterprise-based servers. The technology allows a multithreaded software program to run as though it has two processors at its disposal, though only one processor is physically in place.

Otellini also outlined Intel’s LaGrande Technology, which the company said would be integrated into Intel processors in the future. Intel expects LT technology to be the core hardware technology that helps create a safer computing environment for e-Business, allowing for better execution, memory and storage.

The consensus among developers thought is that something must be done – and done fast – to help boost bleak outlook for desktop PC sales. Research firm IDC Monday lowered its worldwide PC sales projections for 2002 and 2003.

The Framingham, Mass-based company said shipments will hit 135.5 million, on growth of 1.1 percent this year, with growth of 8.4 percent predicted for next year. In June, IDC believed the market would grow 4.7 percent in 2002 and 11.1 percent in 2003.

With so much at stake in the future of its new chip technologies, Otellini also announced the Intel Software College, a variety of classroom and online courses for developer training in areas such as Intel’s four architectures, platform technologies and software development tools for several operating systems.

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