Intel Set To Launch Grantsdale


Technology viewed as key to convergence


Chip maker Intel is taking the wraps off its long-awaited Grantsdale chipset, touting it as a key ingredient in its grand plan to drive convergence between computing, communications and content.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is set to formally announce Grantsdale next week under the product name the Intel 915G and Intel 915P chipset. The technology will include integrated high-definition audio and support increased storage management capabilities, among other functions.

"We're not just doing technology for technology's sake," said Bill Leszinske, Intel's director of digital home marketing and planning, during a meeting with reporters earlier last week. "The big challenge this year is we're very focused on usage models."

Intel has been touting the new chipsets since earlier this year, when it began discussing how the advanced graphics and audio in Grantsdale would facilitate the company's aggressive move into the digital home and convergence arenas.

The company, in preannouncement demonstrations of systems with the chipsets and 3.4GHz, Pentium 4 processors, showed how PCs using Grantsdale provide Dolby 7.1-quality audio, multidisplay capabilities in a single system and seamless writing to dual hard drives managed by Intel's new Storage Matrix technology.

Some solution providers were interested in whether this would give Intel a competitive edge.

Suchindrin Chatterjee, chief executive of Lagerfields, a Peoria, Ariz.-based system builder and solution provider, said the prospects for success with the Grantsdale technology depend on how it competes with 64-bit processor technology from Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"There are two issues," Chatterjee said. "One is the operating system that runs on it and what applications run on the operating system, and [the other is] what other [processor] speeds can be used." He said he also would wait and see if Intel produced enough supply of the new chipset for the market.