[LINK] new Intel chipset

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Sep 22 05:00:03 EST 2010

Virtually a computer on a chip .. next year with inbuilt McAfee?

Intel hopes new chipset will change PC industry

By Maggie Shiels, BBC News, Silicon Valley

The world's biggest chip maker, Intel, has unveiled the chipset it is 
banking its immediate future on and one it hopes will shake up the market.

The product, code-named Sandy Bridge, is Intel's first architecture to 
merge a microprocessor and graphics processor onto a single chip.

It is designed to cut the time it takes to produce images. Sandy Bridge 
boasts one billion transistors.

Paul Otellini, Intel's chief executive told its annual developer forum 
being held in San Francisco, "On one single chip, we've put in place all 
the critical capabilities for computing. This is a very important chip 
for Intel."

The chip will target low-end desktop computers and laptops and is 
expected to be ready to go to customers early next year. 

Putting the two processors together will cut the time it takes to produce 
images as it removes bottlenecks between the graphics processor and 

It will also improve battery life and power consumption.

"This is a big deal and we are all interested to see how the chip 
performs when it gets out into the real world next year," Martin 
Reynolds, managing vice president of research firm Gartner told BBC News.

"I don't however think it will revolutionise the industry but it does 
force that continued change that is part of the history of the PC 
industry. Intel has to keep new technologies coming to the market that 
keeps its growing so it is a big bet for the next couple of years."


Sandy Bridge is expected to cause headaches for Intel rival Nvidia, the 
maker of stand-alone graphics chips. 

Technology blog VentureBeat has called Sandy Bridge an "Nvidia killer".

Nvidia said it is not worried about Intel's move and in a statement 
underlined that sentiment.

"Intel's been proclaiming the death of discrete graphics for years, but 
real GPUs (graphics processing units) just keep getting more important."

Advanced Micro Devices is also expected to feel the heat from Sandy 
Bridge. It has been working on its own hybrid chip for a while, but many 
analysts feel it has lost ground by not staying ahead of Intel 

Notebooks and desktops with AMD's accelerated processing unit are 
expected in early 2011.

"It's hard to tell what will shake down because we haven't seen the 
performance benchmarks or specs from Sandy Bridge or from AMD's Fusion," 
said Jim McGregor of research firm In-Stat.

"If that migrates all the way up to mainstream computing, it just leaves 
that high end which is a very small percentage of the market, then you 
have to say this is a huge concern for Nvidia."


The company failed to provide substantial details on the technical 
thinking behind its $7.68bn acquisition of McAfee as it awaits approval. 

The deal, the biggest in the company's 42-year history, surprised many in 
the industry when it was announced. 

At the time the company said that the acquisition reflected that security 
was now a fundamental component of online computing. 
Security is crucial as the number of internet connected devices grow That 
view was echoed in Mr Otellini's keynote speech as he told thousands of 
developers it marked an opportunity to "offer secure capabilities across 
all Intel connected products".

Intel added that its security approach did not fully address the billions 
of new internet-ready devices, including mobile and wireless devices, 
TVs, cars, medical devices and cash machines. 

"The amount we trust our devices to protect us is going up all the time 
and the bad guy threats are going up at the same time. Security is 
becoming a more complex topic with the proliferation of devices. We are 
trying to change how platforms are secured," said Mr Otellini.

Both companies have been collaborating for the last 18-24 months on 
products and the first chips incorporating new security software are 
expected to appear next year. 


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