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Intel outlines new product roadmap and industry initiatives

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During his keynote today at the Intel Developer Forum, Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Enterprise Group, outlined the next stage of the company’s multi-core product roadmap and new industry initiatives that offer developers a design platform for innovation and new capabilities for businesses. Gelsinger said that Moore’s Law and the accelerated pace of Intel innovation are enabling faster and more reliable and secure networking and computing technologies, including PCs that boast a future “system defence” technology.

Demonstrating how the company capitalises on Moore’s Law, Intel previewed its forthcoming Quad-Core Intel Xeonprocessor 5300 series – products with four processors inside – for workstations and servers, and the Intel Core2 Extreme quad-core processor for the enthusiast market segment. Available this year, the products are based on the revolutionary Intel Core microarchitecture and deliver socket compatibility with existing Intel platforms. 

The chips will extend technology and performance leadership by delivering up to 50 per cent more performance within the same power envelope than today’s dual-core generation, already well recognised as the world’s highest performing processors. Gelsinger also reiterated that Intel will deliver a power-thrifty 50 watt quad-core server processor next year. 

Intel also revealed plans for more than 50 new SSE4 instructions, extending the Intel 64 instruction set architecture to better take advantage of Intel’s next-generation 45 nanometre (nm) silicon manufacturing process and expand the performance and capabilities of Intel Architecture. New products based on the Intel 64 instruction set architecture will first appear next year and benefit a variety of applications, including those involving graphics, video encoding and processing, 3D imaging, gaming, web servers and application servers. 

The company also highlighted several new industry standards initiatives. Intel and IBM have co-developed a specification for a new PCI Express technology, codenamed “Geneseo,” that would extend the standard to include co-located hardware on the bus. The goal is to make such tasks as visualisation and media processing, math intensive data crunching and content processing faster and more efficient than existing add-in cards or software approaches. 

Intel and IBM plan to further collaborate with the PCI-SIG, one of the oldest and most respected open industry standards organisations and the group that maintains PCI and PCI Express specifications. As further example of its support for industry innovation, Intel has announced that it will license its front-side bus technology to select vendors. 

New Family of Enterprise Class Processors

Gelsinger highlighted how the company has refreshed its entire line up of dual-core products, including more than 30 new enterprise-class processors for both business PCs and servers, all launched in less than 100 days. Among these is a new family of dual-core Intel Itanium processors designed for the high-end, reduced instruction set computing (RISC)-dominated space. Intel’s Itanium processor family continues to gain momentum; worldwide system revenue in the first half of this year grew by nearly 40 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to analyst reports. 

Intel also has extended the Intel Xeon processor line, targeting lower-end, single-processor servers typically used for home offices and small businesses with the introduction of the Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor 3000 series, dramatically improving server performance and power efficiency. Intel also launched the latest ultra-dense Dual Core Intel Xeon Processor 5148 that features a low thermal design point of only 40 watts. 

For business PCs, Gelsinger disclosed details on the company’s next-generation Intel vPro technology that will extend the platform’s manageability and security capabilities. Available next year, the platform will include the third generation of Intel Active Management technology, adding support for the new Web Services Management (WS-MAN) standard and new “system defence” features that can slow or stop the spread of viruses and worms. Further bolstering PC security, this next-generation technology will also include for the first time Intel Trusted Execution Technology, formerly codenamed “LaGrande Technology”. 

Lastly, Gelsinger discussed a proposed method for measuring energy-efficient performance (energy efficiency at a given performance level) on the client and encouraged the industry to move toward standardisation of methodologies that deliver meaningful results to end users.



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