Chip Wars, Part Deux

Tech vendors must be getting caught up in the fall television premiere season. There are all sorts of new things coming out. We've got competitors going after Microsoft Office, big guns aiming at SaaS, Intel announcing a new line of high-performance chips that use less power (good news for green computing initiatives) and AMD with the first ever odd-numbered core chip.

Intel's new line of chips, with the slightly cryptic code-name Nehalem (it's the name of a city and river in Oregon), will go as high as eight-core. That's some serious processing power. I can already hear the gamers in the crowd rejoicing.

Intel made this announcement at its twice-yearly tech conference. It couldn't come at a better time -- not because Intel is preaching to the choir at its own conference, but because things are heating up in the pitched battle with AMD.

The day before Intel's conference kicked off, AMD rolled out the first three-core processor, saying the unusual architecture was partially a response to the fact that its quad-core processors hadn't exactly stormed the world. The AMD Phenom, as the new three-way chip is called, should fit in nicely for customers needing more horsepower than a dual-core, but aren't ready to buck up for a quad-core or higher. Look for the Phenom some time in the first quarter of 2008.

This ongoing battle between Intel and AMD can only be good for the rest of us; chips will get more powerful, and hopefully less expensive.

Some of you weighed in a couple of weeks ago on where you stand on the front lines of the chip wars. What about the rest of you? Hanging with the stalwart Intel, or opting for the feisty AMD? Let me process your response at llow@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Lafe Low on September 19, 2007 at 11:57 AM


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