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Convergence to introduce "third-era" computing

Posted: 10 Sep 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon? computers? pc? ethernet LANs? mobile computing?

Silicon will be the driving engine that will bring new capabilities to the computing and communications sector, this is according to Intel president and COO, Paul Otellini, while opening the Intel Developer Forum Fall 2002, on September 9.

"While the computing and communications industries are going through their largest correction in history, investments in emerging technologies, exciting products and more robust infrastructure continue," said Otellini.

"We are on the cusp of creating exciting new technologies that allows computers to communicate and devices to compute. This will be fueled by silicon advances that enable new levels of integration," he added.

Intel's COO noted that there were three eras in computing. First was the mainframe era, when computers were completely isolated; second was the PC era, which brought internetworking computing on the network; and third is an era built around connected devices. "We are just entering the third era," Otellini clarified.

Otellini said that PCs, servers, cell phones, handheld devices, consumer electronic products, and other devices are getting connected with high performance networks, mixing GbE LANs, fiber-optic transport systems, and modular communications infrastructures, providing global connectivity. He envisaged that Intel's role would be to expedite this convergence by delivering silicon-based platforms and common development environments.

Otellini further demonstrated key technologies and products that Intel is developing for convergence technology. Intel's Banias microprocessor, to be introduced Q1 2003, works for mobile computing, addresses all aspects of mobility, enables great power utilization, and empowers high performance, small form factors for wireless connectivity. Intel Pentium 4 processor operating at 3GHz will be available with hyper-threading technology in Q4 this year.

"HT Technology can deliver up to 25 percent more performance for desktop, 60 percent more for workstations, and 80 percent more for servers at no additional cost," Otellini stated. A Pentium 4 processor operating at 4.7GHz was also demonstrated. Also shown in the Forum were Itanium 2-based servers.

Otellini said that convergence will render security as a top-priority focus for future designs. He outlined LaGrande Technology (LT), which will be integrated into Intel processors in the future, to be the core hardware technology that will help create safer computing environments for e-businesses and memory storage apps.

To support software engineers, Intel has set up the Intel Software College that features a variety of classroom and online courses for developer training in areas such as Intel's architectures, platform technologies, and software development tools for OSs.

- Kirtimaya Varma

EE Times-Asia

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