Intel makes power a priority

“Energy is on everyone’s mind. It’s the next frontier,” CTO John Rattner told the Intel Developer’s Forum here this month. “Not only has it become a critical concern in our daily lives, it has become a critical concern in every platform that we deal with.”

At last year’s IDF, Intel had five energy-efficient dual core chips in silicon. This year, Intel has 12 of its products that it said will be delivered by year-end in dual core.

By the end of this year, over 85 per cent of Intel’s server platforms will be dual core. Intel also plans on introducing multicore products to its offerings by 2007.

That will be easier to do with the announcement that Hewlett-Packard Co. will launch seven new Proliant systems, including workstations, servers and blade systems, based on Intel’s upcoming Woodcrest microprocessor.

For Intel’s dual core chipsets, Merom (mobile), Conroe (desktop) and Woodcrest (server), the chip manufacturer is claiming a 20 to 80 per cent increase in performance, depending on the platform, and from 35 to 40 per cent reduction in power consumption. All of these platforms will be based on 65 nanometre (nm) silicon technology. Intel plans to start developing chips on 45 nm silicon by this year with plans to release products next year. Responding to Intel’s performance claims, rival chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which was also in town this week for press briefings off-site, questioned Intel’s benchmarks.

“We don’t know where they got those numbers,” said Brent Kerby, product marketing manager, server and workstation marketing, Microprocessor Solutions Sector, AMD, who met with “We have a pretty considerable lead in the mobile and desktop space. They’d have to be doing some credible architectural changes.”

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