Over the years Intelâ€™s focus has been changing, shifting from being primarily a memory company, to a CPU company to the platform company that it sees itself as today. Itâ€™s the convergence between the IT and consumer electronics markets that has driven Intel towards its new platform model, with traditionally IT focussed technology finding itself in everyday consumer devices.
Intel has had to refocus over recent years. The race for ever increasing GHz has finally stalled â€“ in fact back in 2001 at IDF Otellini himself stated that Intel had to move beyond GHz. The first sign of this move was Centrino and the Pentium M, where GHz dropped, but performance and battery life actually improved.
Intel wants to build on this model for future platforms, where the key isnâ€™t all out performance, itâ€™s the performance per watt that really matters. Like Centrino, future Intel platforms will focus on high performance with low power, which will also result in low heat and consequently low noise. And itâ€™s this vision that will see the introduction of a whole host of new and powerful mobile devices.
Today and tomorrowâ€™s performance needs to be manageable in any type of device, and one of the building blocks of this vision is the multi-core processor. With the introduction of multi-core CPUs, performance can be increased without having to continue pushing clock frequencies to ridiculous levels. By winding back the clocks on new CPUs, Intel will be able to reduce the amount of power draw and heat generation.
2006 will see some major landmarks, with the 65nm manufacturing process taking precedent over the current 90nm process, while dual-core will become the dominant CPU species. 2006 will also see a significant drop in power draw from Intelâ€™s CPUs, with server chips drawing as little as 80W, desktop processors down to around 65W and low power mobile chips ticking over at an amazing 5W.