Intel Talks Up Dual-Core, WiMax

At IDF, Intel President Paul Otellini shows off a dual-core Itanium processor and reveals that the company has started sampling WiMax silicon.

SAN FRANCISCO—The dot-com boom-and-bust cycle will be followed by a surge, a top Intel executive said Tuesday, prompted by a shift toward multicore technologies.

In turn, that surge will prompt a "Moores Law" of data expansion, Intel President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Otellini said in his keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum here.

Coincidentally, Intels key announcements focused on the control and processing of that data. During the keynote, the company demonstrated a dual-core Itanium processor; unveiled a management technology that will take some server capabilities and insert them into silicon; and disclosed that it is sampling its first WiMax silicon, code-named Rosedale. Intel also showed off its first samples of "Montecito," a dual-core Itanium chip.

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The froth of the late 1990s and early 2000s has been replaced with a slow resurgence, "a surge thats come about not by accident, but by design," he said. Otellini introduced a new buzzword into Intels lexicon: the "digital effect," or the increase in digital content creation to complement the increased power of processors designed to decode it. Citing data provided by McKinsey Group and Goldman Sachs, Otellini said that data traffic would increase 56 percent by 2006.

That resurgence has also brought about some navel-gazing within Intel. Following a series of missteps, such as those that pushed out a 4GHz processor until next year and Intels delay of its LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) project until 2004, Otellini admitted that the company had gotten back to basics.

"We had some fumbles," Otellini said. Faced with teams that were promising products they couldnt deliver, Intel went back to a "90 percent confidence scheme," where goals were more closely aligned with capabilities.

As expected, Intel concentrated on its "Ts", the technologies that have complemented the increases in raw performance: HyperThreading, Vanderpool, its low-power Dothan technologies, and its EM64T 64-bit extensions.

Intels newest addition, the Intel Active Management Technology, is expected to pull some basic systems-level management capabilities that Intels customers have pioneered back into silicon. An iAMT specification will be released by the next IDF in February, Otellini said. Intel executives have scheduled an "end to end" discussion of enterprise technologies for this afternoon to detail the technology further.

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