Intel Demos Dual-Core System


Intel provided its first-ever public demonstration of dual-core processors Wednesday, showing a crowd at its Intel Developer Forum the technology the company is banking on heavily as it moves into a series of key product releases in 2005.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker offered up a view of a forthcoming dual-core processor during a demonstration of "digital office" functions, including multiple videoconferencing streams with high-definition audio and other graphics.

"What you saw was not a simulation," said Bill Siu, vice president and co-general manager of Intel's desktop platform group, in a press conference following the demonstration. Siu said that while first silicon prototypes of the dual-core processors have been built, it is not yet "production silicon."

While Intel executives have downplayed any "race" with rival Advanced Micro Devices over the entrance of dual-core chips into the market, Wednesday's demonstration could be viewed as important to the chipmaker. AMD said last week it had conducted its first demonstrations of dual-core processing before invitation-only audiences.

Siu delivered a speech and demonstration at Intel's IDF conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, telling a gathering of about 5,000 developers, engineers and press that expanded performance of dual-core chips is key to tapping opportunity in the digital world.

As part of the demonstration, Siu showed his audience that dual-core processors provide better performance more efficiently than single-core chips with or without Hyper-Threading technology.

"You can do a lot more," Siu said. "It is built for the future " for the home office and the digital home."

Siu's counterpart, Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile Platforms Group, also said dual-core processors would play a significant role in the company's Centrino platform down the road. Chandrasekher offered a video presentation of dual core technology on a mobile platform, but did not offer an outright demonstration of it.

Among other things, however, Chandrasekher said Intel was set to launch its forthcoming Sonoma platform for its Centrino brand mobile platform in the first quarter of 2005 -- after its delay from the fourth quarter of this year. On the roadmap following Sonoma, he announced that the next generation mobile platform will be called "Napa."

Napa will comprise a dual-core processor, code-named "Yonah," based on Intel's forthcoming 65 nm process technology, as well as a new chipset, code-named "Calistoga" and wireless component code-named "Golan." No specific timetable for release of Napa was revealed.

During his address, Chandrasekher said his company also was taking the wraps off a new security offering for mobile solutions, the Intel Secure OnConnect Authentication Guide. The product will provide customizable authentication services on mobile devices for IT managers; among other features, it will offer several layers of authentication based on unit codes, security analysis (for viruses and spyware), and other methods.

Chandrasekher also spelled out new initiatives Intel would be taking to extend battery life for mobile PCs as well as provide a new function for roaming between Wi-Fi and WWAN networks.