Not ready to give up the pure-64 bit approach to high-volume servers just yet, Intel this week rolled-out the Montecito members of its Itanium family of processors. Amongst other features, one of Montecito's key attributes is its dual core nature. Then, later this month, on July 27th, Intel is expected to roll out more dual core processors, this time for desktops and notebooks (as opposed to the high-performance computing server market that Itanium targets).
By the end of 2007, Intel expects all of its new chips to be multi-core chips and, according to industry watchers and benchmarks, the beleaguered company which just axed 1000 of its middle managers as a part of a cost-cutting exercise appears to finally be on the verge of reclaiming the many performance crowns that rival chipmaker AMD has wrested away from it over the last few years. Intel's leapfrogging of AMD has left many wondering if AMD can rebound or might Intel have evolved to a point where it can leverage its size and prowess to beat AMD at it's own game. To make things even more challenging for the smaller AMD, the two chipmakers have finally parted ways on compatibility for good. Sure, AMD's Opteron technology and the AMD64 architecture was a slight departure from compatibility with some of Intel's offerings, but Intel reacted with similar chips that sealed up the incompatibility gaps. The same however cannot be said of the two companies virtualization technologies (AMD-V and Intel VT) -- technologies that turn a single computer into multiple ones that are partitioned from each other.
On June 14th, AMD's director of commercial solutions Margaret Lewis joined me at my home office-based podcast studio to explain how AMD plans to keep it's edge. The interview is one of several that I've had to dredge up from the ashes after my IBM Thinkpad T42 suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure. The interview can be downloaded. Or, if you're already subscribed to ZDNet's IT Matters series of podcasts, it may have already automatically downloaded to your computer and MP3 player (see how to subscribe to ZDNet's podcasts).
Among the many questions I asked of Lewis were those that were posed by ZDNet's readers in response to my blog post that solicited questions from our audience members. But we covered a lot of ground... everything from the two titles she holds with AMD to the company's processor roadmap to her background that stretches back to the Ray Noorda days at Novell to rumors that AMD may acquire video card maker ATI as well as the company's sell-off of its MIPS-based Alchemy divison to Raza Technologies.