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Intel's Barrett: P4 the ‘king of processors’

Oh lawks, he's at it again

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It's one thing having faith in one's products, but that faith should not be of the blind persuasion.

In an interview in Hong Kong yesterday, Intel boss Craig 'Five Speeches' Barrett told Bloomberg that the Pentium 4 is the "undisputed king of microprocessors".

Asked to comment on analysts claiming that poor execution had given AMD time to catch up, Barrett replied: "I think we have some great technology to compete with people like AMD, Transmeta, the people who are in our microprocessor space. We just introduced the Pentium 4 microprocessor. It's had a great introduction. It's a new micro architecture. It has a lot of performance headroom. We introduced it at 1.5GHz. It's the undisputed king of microprocessors right now. It will be well over 2GHz next year, so it gives us a lot of headroom at the performance end."

Now, we quite like the P4, but there's no way it's the king of microprocessors today. It has the potential to become great - when it hits two or three gigahertz.

But at the moment, a lack of optimised software (something Intel has always been crap at providing for its new processors) is holding it back. An Athlon or Pentium III still provides more bangs per buck right now.

And Barrett was also scathing about Transmeta's claims for its Crusoe mobile processors: "If you go back to the mobile processor family where we compete against people like Transmeta, we introduced the Pentium III processor family with some speed step technology. You can scale down the performance and scale down the power consumption. We think we outperformed Transmeta, both in performance and in power consumption in the mobile end.

"So we think we've really covered the spectrum of products from the very high end to the laptop end in the processor family. But I'm comfortable with that product lineup now."

Barrett is entitled to be bullish about his company's products, but should remember there's a fine line between 'bullish' and 'bullshit'. ®

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