Tuesday, May 02, 2006

OK. So I'm a slacker!

Get over it. I did. :)

Its not like I haven't been thinking about posting, more like I just haven't posted. Believe me, its definitely not because I stopped shooting my mouth off - like that's ever going to happen!


It looks like Intel has finally started to recover from the loss of Andy Grove as CEO in 1998. Since Andy Grove left, Intel was headed by Craig R. Barrett (1998 - 2005) and currently by Paul S. Otellini (2005 - current (2006-05-02)). When Andy Grove (a tech head) left the company, under the leadership of Barrett (also a tech head and an engineer) Intel floundered about like a ship lost at sea. They lost most of the market leadership that kept them as the most powerful force in the microprocessor world. They lost percentage to AMD. They couldn't get their shit together to come up with a workable 64 bit extension to the 32 bit CPU core in the current x86 CPUs and eventually had to use the one that their sworn enemy - AMD - had developed. And the AMD extension is great.

Intel's own Itanic II (after the first one sank in record time) is selling barely more than a handful whilst AMD's Opteron is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Sure, there's a bit of difference in the target markets, but AMD found a niche that makes them money - Intel failed to.

Then Intel's Pentium D CPU series - the one that needs a 10,000 BTU airconditioner to cool it adequately - wasn't any real advance. It has a limited amount of smarts in the chip as compared to two separate CPUs plugged into the motherboard. basically, this is called (and sorry for the technical term) a kludge.

Now, Intel *finally* started thinking when they released their Pentium-M (and Celeron-M) CPUs which were re-thinks of current design as applied to the older Pentium III that the current Pentium 4 is based on. A 1.73 GHz Pentium M is very roughly equivalent to a Pentium 4 running at 2.8 GHz - this is an approximate 60% increase in performace per MHz.

Intel have now released their Core Duo (and Core Solo) CPUs for the mobile (and desktop, at a push) market which is a properly designed dual-core Pentium-M as compared to the kludged Pentium-D. The Intel Core Duo CPUs are the first in Intel's new line of CPUs where they will totally transition away from the older Pentium 4 architecture and build the new CPUs on the Pentium-M model.

HOORAY!!! Intel finally has found their technical staff - they must have hunted high and low in the pubs and brothels - and given them something useful to do. Its about time!

So, this may signal the next wave of blog postings. Who knows?

The Outspoken Wookie