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IDF Spring 2006: Will Intel's Core Architecture Close the Technology Gap?


It's nice to see Intel sponsoring the BMW F1 team, but isn't the keynote analogy of an efficient platform and a fuel-hungry racing car a bit wrong?

From what we have seen, Intel must have been working quietly for quite some time in order to come up with a processor and platform solution that is meant to regain what has been lost to the competitor. There is a new confidence and a new fire in Intel. Confidence that is based on a manufacturing process that gives the firm a nice nine- to 12-month lead over AMD, and on the fact that the architectural improvements seem to be substantial enough to give them an architecture lead as well.

Yes, there still is the Front Side Bus, and yes, it is going to be a bottleneck again as soon as quad cores are introduced in 2007 (these will merge two dual-core processors into one package first). But in the end, Intel is right with its assessment: Who cares as long as the platform is capable of beating anything else? Performance is still very important, efficiency is a metric that more and more people are finally becoming aware of and value is what it comes down to in the end.

IDF was a great show, but this is what it is: A show. It is time to present proof, and to present some real systems. It is Intel's top priority now to make it to the market at around the projected time frame, which is Q3/2006. Any delays will give AMD the chance to come up with its reworked 65-nm processors (slated for Q3 or Q4), and, of course, these new AMD processors will involve more enhancements than die shrinks.