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Intel expects PC sales boom next year

The launch of Microsoft Windows XP will force many companies to upgrade their PCs in 2002, predicts Intel

Chip maker Intel expects that the launch of Windows XP will encourage half of all enterprises worldwide to purchase new PCs next year, according to comments by an executive.

Despite the global economic slowdown, Intel expects that the new operating system from Microsoft will heavily boost enterprise PC sales, according to Anand Chandrasekher, vice-president of the Intel Architecture Group and director of the Intel Architecture Marketing Group. Some experts have been pessimistic about XP's ability to drive sales, particularly in the enterprise, where XP is considered a marginal improvement over Windows 2000.

Chandrasekher made the comments in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday. His comments were reported by the Taiwanese trade paper DigiTimes.

He also said that Intel's flagship Pentium 4 processor is quickly gaining market share, with share growth at 6 percent from the first to second quarters of this year. In the third quarter growth was higher than 6 percent, Chandrasekher said. Intel says that China has the world's highest penetration of Pentium 4 processors.

The chip was slow to take off in the first few months of its life due to its exclusive use of Rambus high-speed memory, which is more expensive than standard SDRAM memory. Chipsets that allow the processor to use SDRAM or DDR memory became available only recently.

Intel also confirmed that it has begun the volume production of its "Northwood"-based Pentium 4 chips, which will be manufactured to a 0.13-micron specification. The reduction from their current 0.18-micron architecture will make the chips less expensive to manufacture while decreasing power consumption and increasing efficiency.

The new chips will arrive on the market in the first quarter of next year, Chandrasekher said.

Rumours had said that Intel had delayed the switch to a 0.13-micron process.

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