Visions of China

IDF Beijing: what silicon prawns are going to be sizzling on the platter of publicity(*)?Tons of 45nm - mobile, desktop, server, quadcore, dualcore, bigger caches, faster buses, better energy efficiency.

IDF Beijing: what silicon prawns are going to be sizzling on the platter of publicity(*)?

Tons of 45nm - mobile, desktop, server, quadcore, dualcore, bigger caches, faster buses, better energy efficiency. The Penryn/Wolfdale/Hapertown technology will get its time in the limelight.

Nehalem - more cores with up to two threads per core, integrated memory controller and graphics, and "the biggest platform change since the early nineties", says Gelsinger. Entirely new architecture, but tons of redesigning needed from everyone.

Expect announcements about ultra-low power chips to get back into the portable, hand-held market Intel abdicated when it flogged off the XScale to Marvell. Also a lot about Intel's strategy for chips with more than eight cores - if I had to guess, I'd say there'll be a mixture of homogenous and heterogenous approaches. And that means becoming application specific.

An intriguing idea is that Intel doesn't quite become a custom manufacturer, but sets up its fabs to produce lots of small batches (by current standards) of mixed-core chips for specific jobs, even specific customers. It's great that you can press a button on a fab and make ten million Pentiums as easily as you can make a hundred, but can you make a fab make a million chips with four cores of x86, one of graphics, two of DSP and one of RF, then another million with six x86, one graphics, one DSP? Test and verification are the biggies - but at some point, intel _has_ to update its marketing and channel strategy.

Also, it's way past time Intel said more about radio and phase-change memories. It's also way past time it said something about MEMS, but I think that's probaby because it hasn't got anything to say about MEMS.That's OK, neither has anyone else.

(* I know. Half-way around the world (visa willing: getting that on the day I'm flying. Or not, if not) to see the most important chip company going, and all I can think of is how many varieties of obscure animal I'll get to eat. Mmm-mmm. But I bet they won't have my ultimate dream: the tasty Orkney vole)

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All