The Product Line
Intel has been hit the hardest in servers, an area where AMD has gained share for several quarters, and desktops. Intel still enjoys an advantage in notebooks, said Paul Otellini, Intels CEO, on the conference call."We have an extremely compelling product line [for servers] coming out with Woodcrest. That one I expect to start turning the corner in terms of market segment share fairly soon after launch," Otellini said."The one that is very interesting is Conroe [for desktops]. Its the most significant gain in performance since the introduction of the Pentium versus the 486. I think that one will see immediate up tic in two areas. One is the enterprise and in the gamer community." Click here to read more about Intels shift in focus from speedy chips to multicore and power consumption. Enterprise customers will seek to use Conroe, Otellini said, in combination with a new business desktop chip platform and brand name the company is prepping. The chip will be the centerpiece of Intels latest Professional Business Platform, a bundle of chips for business desktops, dubbed Averill. Averills top tier will combine Conroe, a new Intel 965 supporting chip set, along with an Intel network card and will generally allow manufacturers to build smaller, sleeker desktops that incorporate greater management and security capabilities, Intel has said. Gamers, on the other hand, will seek out the performance that Conroe has to offer, he said. The chip maker, which demonstrated Conroe running at 2.66GHz at its Developer Forum in March 2006, said it will deliver a 40 percent increase in performance, while using 40 percent less power than its current Pentium D 900-series. Conroe will feature a 65-watt thermal design power measurement, meaning it will consume up to about that much power. Woodcrest, for its part, is a dual-core server chip, which Intel has said will bump up server performance by about 80 percent while cutting power consumption by 35 percent compared to its existing 2.8Ghz dual-core Xeon chip. An interim step, a dual-core chip called Dempsey, is shipping but hasnt yet been made available in products. Merom will offer a 20 percent performance boost versus todays Core Duo processors while operating within the same power envelope, Intel has said. Otellini called Merom "icing on the cake" in terms of boosting performance for the portable machines. Next Page: Rivalry from AMD.