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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Intel's Main Advantage - Speed of Having New Products

By Abas Kamal Bin Sulaiman

Intel China Research Center is working on Model-based Computing to optimize the use of its multi core microprocessor technology. Hint, Microsoft is currently looking closer into virtualization software. It seems that virtualization it's more related to server technology. The virtualization strategy combined with utility computing that uses virtual machines, & the third most important factor; the multi core chip's scalability, performance & power efficiency to reach high levels of work load consolidation in data centers.

Tera-scale computers which are based on 10 to 100s of integrated processor cores perform 3 workloads in Model based computing: "Recognition object or pattern in a database, data mining (source the data base to find identical objects or related patterns that match the target object), & information synthesis (you mine out data, different patterns & objects, put together in a way that user can digest; user can derive useful solutions)" quoted from Vived De; fellow of Intel.

Let us briefly compare side by side, the main offerings from both Intel & AMD quad core microprocessors. You can see that AMD's strategy is taking the competitors weakness as its strength. AMD keeps mentioning about its superior 2mb L3 cache; touted as better than any of its competitors while Intel is in a competition with its own past achievements. Intel is staying away from a head to head "chicken play" with AMD by producing new products much faster than its nearest competitors even though it misses a few innovative hits like a new L3 cache.

However, Intel more than compensates by improving it microprocessors in other avenues like SSE4 instructions & more efficient materials like the hafnium metal gate silicon technology. Intel's speed of having new products into the consumer market is the main reason why it is the microprocessor market leader today. People usually want a new product they can use now rather than wait for a marginally better product after a few months. AMD's chance to be the new market leader will come from its ability to do the same like Intel; not only talk the talk but also walk the walk.

The Dunnington 6 core microprocessors from Intel are the next in line to be released to the consumer market. Users of the Dunnington microprocessors will own a piece of Peta flop level computing technology. The Peta flop computing technology, a computer that calculates a thousand trillion flotation points per second, exists in Intel's lab demo of a powerful peta flop computer that utilizes Dunnington microprocessors.

It seems that from a marketing point of view, Intel is using its research & development arm to show consumers the full capability of its microprocessors. It is unlikely that an individual home user will be buying like 60 or more pieces of Dunnigton microprocessors to build a peta flop home computer. Nonetheless, the appeal of it exists, & people will go like "You know, I own a 6 core Intel microprocessor that has peta-flop computing potential!" One must admit that it is a very appealing prospect!

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