Intel names new chips after failed Israeli political party

Bridge to controversy

IDF Intel's tradition of issuing confusing and innocuous processor code-names has been derailed. Oh, the code-names are still confusing because of their quantity, but they've shifted from innocuous to loaded.

Up to now, Intel has largely relied on small cities, rivers and mountains on the West Coast for its code-names. Customers have seen products such as Montecito, Yamhill and McKinley.

The most controversial code-name we can remember came with a version of the Itanium processor called Tanglewood. Intel was forced to rename this chip Tukwila after the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts demanded a switch.

Now, however, Intel has started hyping "Gesher" in earnest, and we think this is the most controversial code-name of all.

Gesher covers a new chip architecture from Intel set for release in 2010. It's also one of the code-names, like Merom, that seems to have been churned out by Intel Israel.

We're told that Gesher means bridge in Hebrew and also that the word describes an Israeli political party. But exactly how loaded of a term is it?

Well, on the bridge front, you could find some extra meaning, since Gesher should link Intel's stodgy North Bridge-based processor designs with more modern designs equipped with integrated memory controllers. Gesher may well bond the old Intel with the new.

A more sensational slice of Gesher trivia comes from the occasionally reliable Wikipedia thing.

We're told that the Gesher political party started by David Levy, "never reached the potential . . . predicted for it."

We won't pretend to be Israeli politics experts and so will leave any grief with the pediaphiles.

That said, Intel must be hoping Gesher the processor doesn't end up like Gesher the political party.

And you thought Itanic was bad. ®

Read Reg Hardware's complete IDF Fall 06 coverage here

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