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Sluttish Merced still undead

Clings on to life a little like General Franco did

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Intel's Merced processor is still on track for release in the middle of next year, the chip goliath still insists. But stories that it and Microsoft have fallen out over compilers has spurred a barrage of reports on comp.arch and comp.sys.intel that the chip is deader than a dead dodo. Chip designers, according to a source at Intel, do well when they are playing a high-level abstraction game but when the people who have to wire things together see the plans, they develop a berserk point of view. And if compilers don't work as well as they're supposed to, then Merced begins to look more like a precursor to a McKinley by the day, various correspondents to the news groups have reported. Speed and performance goals have failed, according to the thread on the news group, which refers to our story of a few days ago. One poster said: "I'm reminded of the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update with Chevy Chase when Generalissmo Francisco Franco clung to life for about eight weeks. Chevy would come in and report the news: 'Generallissimo Francisco Franco is critically dead'. Stick a fork in it. I think Merced is done." ®

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