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Intel targets '09 for Geneseo

Acceleration: The long road

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IDF Intel has flagged late 2009 for the likely delivery of its revamped take on PCI Express code-named Geneseo.

Geneseo, originated by Intel and IBM, basically consists of extensions to the popular PCI Express technology or more specifically to PCI Express 2.0 due out this year. Vendors backing Geneseo, including Nvidia, QLogic, ClearSpeed, Sun Microsystems and Adaptec, expect to build a host of accelerators aimed at aiding the performance of specific tasks. In particular, the vendors hope to ship speedups for mathematical, video, encryption, XML and data mining functions.

Intel and friends first revealed their Geneseo plans during the Intel Developer Forum last September. The company has now used this week's IDF in Beijing to provide a timeline for the technology.

Intel Fellow Ajay Bhatt, speaking here, disclosed that Geneseo-ready gear should start arriving in late 2009 and 2010.

Most products that work with PCI Express 1.0 and 2.0 will also work under Geneseo, although close to 25 per cent of hardware "will require new things," Bhatt said.

Intel hopes that the long-term software work done around PCI Express along with shared industry momentum will keep third-party interest in Geneseo high.

In the meantime, AMD has been pushing its own HTX technology which allows partner products to tap right into Hypertransport. The likes of IBM and HP, along with a number of smaller companies, have gotten behind the HTX idea, while others such as Sun have shunned it.

Ultimately, both Geneseo and HTX should help out the most demanding customers in the server and PC realms.

Many such customers have longed for cheap, effective accelerators to crank through complex operations not handled terribly well by general purpose processors. The arrival of such accelerators, in conjunction with tighter links between processors and graphics chips, should provide a tremendous performance boost. ®

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