By Sarah Gain
Noting that high-tech companies are growing again as a result of delivering exciting new products, Intel’s CEO and president Paul Otellini says the industry is on a new "performance per watt" course, seeking smaller, sleeker and more energy-efficient computers.
Describing Intel's role in driving innovation at the Intel Developer Forum, Otellini unveiled the company's next-generation, power-optimised micro-architecture for the future digital home, enterprise, mobile and emerging market platforms, along with low-power products that will enable a new category of converged consumer devices.
Intel will introduce the micro-architecture in the second half of 2006, which combines the strength of the company's current Intel NetBurst and Pentium M micro-architectures, and adds new features.
The multi-core foundation will help enable unique computer designs that will power the industry's most sophisticated and user-friendly digital home and office PCs. It will also help IT managers increase responsiveness and productivity while at the same time reducing the real-estate and electricity burdens that company's face as server data centres grow.
Intel is going to combine its research and development (R&D), manufacturing and technology leadership with energy-efficient micro-architectures and powerful multi-core processors in order to deliver unique platforms better tailored to individual needs, according to Otellini.
"We will deliver 'factor of ten' breakthroughs to a variety of platforms that can reduce energy consumption tenfold or bring ten times the performance of today's products. At the same time, Intel innovation will continue to deliver unique digital enterprise, home, office and mobile features, such as greater manageability, security and virtualisation, along with an increasing capability to manage and view digital content," he promises.
Otellini showed the first public demonstration of the Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest processors for notebook, desktop and server platforms designed on Intel's advanced 65-nanometer technology manufacturing process. He also stated that Intel has more than ten processor projects that contain four (quad-core) or more processor cores per chip.
Otellini also announced that forthcoming lower-power products will lead to a new category of ultra energy-efficient "Handtop PC" devices that provide a converged communication and PC-like experience but require less than a watt of processing power and weigh under a pound.
Intel and analysts predict that as many as 200 million computers may be sold this year alone, and in this environment of rising global energy use and prices, Otellini believes that significant decreases in a computer's wattage consumption could save billions of dollars in electricity as sales of new PCs and servers continue to rise in the coming years.