15th > November > 1998 Archive
Intel wheeled out its top guns on Friday the 13th last in a boost aimed at avoiding the need to go to Comdex/Fall to find out what it is thinking. Intel is not going to have booths at Comdex this year, just sideshows.
Intel has promised it will help its vendor and channel partners to manage stock, after the difficulties both it and them had experienced earlier this year. Sean Maloney, VP of the sales and marketing group at Intel, told an analyst's meeting on Friday that it will offer Web-based tools to help OEMs and its channel partners "micromanage" its stock position. And despite the channel being squeezed by both retail and direct sales, he vowed Intel would help them to continue to value add its architecture. Maloney also disclosed that Intel is gaining market share in its network products business, overtaking 3Com on 10/100 Ethernet connections in Q3 of this year. That could interest investigators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who have already widened their case against a case due to begin in February of next year. He showed a graph which displayed how tricky the position had become for the channel during this year but claimed the position had approved. The tools to manage stock were already in pilot for 11 OEMs in 28 locations across the world, said Maloney, with some customers claiming stock reductions of 30 per cent on many products. But Intel's share in the retail channel needed to improve, Maloney admitted. Its share has been eroded by AMD and Cyrix, observers noted. He showed a graph demonstrating that the dealer channel was being squeezed by both direct and retail sales but maintained Intel was committed to the channel, with 50,000 companies involved in its channel schemes worldwide. He said that the Internet was the number one reason for buying a PC, quoting IDC figures. There are currently 200 million Internet users worldwide, Intel thinks. Intel's strategy for the Internet was to provide architecture which will run all applications on a variety of different operating systems, said Maloney. Maloney re-iterated that business in the second half of this year was better for Intel, with the Internet being the prime driving force. ®
Intel has revealed further details of its ease of use designs for PC, codenamed Yaquina and Twister. Yaquina, which will appear in three versions on different stands at Comdex/Fall during this week, will come in three designs. The machines will use a 500MHz processor, have an 8Gb hard drive, 128Mb of memory, and USB. The boxes are intended to move end users away from the burden of legacy systems, claimed Pat Gelsinger, VP and general manager of Intel's desktop products group, speaking at Intel's autumn analysts meeting. Gelsinger also revealed that Intel is ramping up its Linux work and is extending its Intel Developer Forum programmes. Its next IDF, in February next year, will include information on Linux for servers, as well as extend its initiatives on security and mobile connectivity. In September next year, it will give more details of its IA64 architecture, and also outline its Next Gen Server I/O, which is intended to replace PCI. He said that the Next Gen IO, which has caused controversy because IBM, Compaq and HP are all eager to develop PCIX, would have a modular rather than a monolithic approach, would be non-proprietary, and would be channel-based, rather than memory mapped. Intel is spearheading the digital transmission content protection (DTCP) system, intended to prevent copyright breaches across the Web, and Gelsinger said that the 5C DTCP specification is already available. ®
Intel has disclosed more details about its segmented roadmap and for the first time has shown a diagram of the Merced die. And Paul Otellini, executive VP, Intel architecture business group, described the Celeron platform "fresh from the factory" and the "fighting brand". Speaking at an Intel analyst forum on Friday, he said the ramp was the fastest release of CPUs for Intel ever, with four times volume growth between Q2 and Q3 of this year. He confirmed that a 400MHz part will appear in the first half of next year, along with integrated companion chipsets, and promised further integration in the year 2000. He claimed that Java ran better on Intel architecture than on other platforms, and cited Jmark 2.0 benchmarks which he said showed a PII/300 running Win95/NT outperformed a 266MHz PowerPC G3 running MacOS 8, and a Sun 296MHz UltraSparc II running Solaris 2.6. In 1999, he said, we willl see 500MHz Intel parts on the .25 micron process in the first half, and 600MHz parts on .18 micron in the second half. Mobile parts using the .18 micron process will ramp to volume in the third quarter of 1999. An IA32 server roadmap he displayed showed Cascades arriving just before the end of next year, Foster in the first half of 2000, with future 32 products extending far into the first half of the decade. Madison, Deerfield and McKinley are slated for the end of 2001, Otellini's roadmaps showed. Analysts also got a glimpse of the Merced floorplan, shown here. In the first half of 1999, Intel will release Tanner 500MHz for the server market, Katmai 500MHz for the mainstream market, Celeron 400MHz for the budget mark, 366MHz mobile PIIs for the notebook market, and StrongARM 1100/1500 chips for the set top box and handheld market. The second half will see 600MHz Cascades for the server market, Coppermine 600MHz for the mainstream market, Celerons at greater speeds than 400MHz for the budget market, a mobile PII Coppermine at 600MHz and StrongARM upgrades.
Chip giant Intel has claimed that it has brought its traditional three year cycle down to two years and at the same time said its packaging plans were ahead of its competition. Sunlin Chou, VP of the technology and marketing group at Intel US, told analysts on Friday that while its chip cycle stood at three years in 1994, it was on target to move that to two years by next year, from .25 micron processs technology to .18 micron. He also disclosed more details of its .18 micron plans, which will include 16M of SRAM and lead to speeds of 800MHz over the next 18 months. Following that, Intel will be able to manufacture 1GHz chips, he said. But he confirmed that Intel would not move away from its SOI technology to copper interconnects just yet. Chou said that its flip-chip attach socket meant a shorter electrical path than the socket approach it currently adopts. Its organic land grid array (OLGA) was an advance over AMD, IBM and Motorola technology which used a ceramic substrate with non copper interconnects. ®
A quick runthrough of the Anagram Server has produced some odd results. Pat "Kicking" Gelsinger, readers will remember, kicked a poor staffer with a gammy leg at Comdex/Fall last year -- twice. So Pat Gelsinger becomes "A leg per sting". Andy Grove anagrams as either "Gravy Done" or "Gay Vendor", while Paul Otellini seems to equate as "Paul Oil Intel". Meanwhile, Celeron Chip becomes "Cliche Prone", Katmai Chip becomes "I a thick map" while Xeon Processor turns into "Scorn or Expose". And Sean Maloney anagrams as "Sale Annoy Me" or "Anal me yes no". How puzzling anagrams can be...®
An almighty row has broken out over the use of UK taxpayers' money after it emerged that the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) offered £150 million more than another region to attract LG to the region. According to BBC Radio 4 programme, File on Four, the Northern Development Company (NDC), which operates in the north east of England, offered LG £100 million to set up its electronics and semi fabs there. But it was outbid by the WDA, which offered an additional £147 million, some of which was funded by the Welsh Office. Both organisations are ultimately accountable to the UK government, as is the Scottish equivalent, Locate in Scotland. According to the programme, development agencies in the UK bid against each other for inward investment, maintaining tight secrecy in order to win jobs for their regions. The programme quoted NDC director John Bowles as saying: "This clearly demonstrates there's a need for a level playing field." Earlier this year, Siemens shut its DRAM fab in the north east, and there have been similar announcements from Hyundai and also Fujitsu. There are questions over whether companies which withdrew after receiving large grants should repay money they were given. Siemens said at the time it would repay £50 million. This sum is, however, still forthcoming. Last week, as reported here, a third party Wall Street consultant, Arthur D. Little, was appointed by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission to decide how both Hyundai and LG's semiconductor businesses should be merged. Any decision that is reached by Little could make the row between the two UK agencies seem like a mere bagatelle. ®