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Intel drops dual-core Itanic hint

Backroom antics

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Intel dropped the strongest hint yet that it will build dual core processors based on the IA-64 architecture, at its Developer Forum in San Jose.

It's just not going to happen tomorrow.

Mike Fister, senior VP for servers, claimed Intel has the know how to do dual core better than anyone else in the world, at a briefing today. Even though it doesn't produce a dual core processor right now. On the other hand, only Intel can claim to produce a multithreaded (SMT) processor.

Asked if Chipzilla was lagging behind POWER4 and PA-RISC, which are now dual core, or SPARC, which will be next year, Fister said Intel would be ready.

"POWER is 25 per cent ahead of us and is mature. We're early on in the product cycle," said The Fist.

"Not counting Madison and Deerfield; we'll be there, we're the best in the world at that."

The Fist said that he wasn't worried about adoption of Itanic systems.

"I'm a student of history, and history tells us that Precision Architecture and POWER had an S-shaped adoption curve. We're two and a half years into our S-curve, and our S-curve will be the same as the others'", he said.

The Fist takes the stage tomorrow morning for his server keynote, and wouldn't disclose the contents today, as you'd expect.

Our antennae tuned into two possibly unrelated signals: shunning the term "OEM", Fister described Hewlett Packard and other Itanic supporters as "integrating manufacturers". Asked about Dell, which has spoiled the Itanic2 party, he observed that they had a "different investment model", perhaps a kind way of saying that it doesn't invest very much in integration.

"It takes a whole different support infrastructure for a 16-way than an 8-way," he said.

Intel's target is to bring down the power requirements of an IA-64 to 70 or 80 watts, he added. ®

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