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Intel grappling with the Megahertz headache

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Intel has always focused on MegaHertz speed to try to sell its processors and now churns out processors that are always higher in terms of clock even if not always really faster than those that preceded them. A strategy that by focusing attention only on one of the aspects that make a computer "fast", is paying off in terms of diffusion.

But this technique could soon become obsolete and even counterproductive, turning against its own "creators"

The crucial date to verify the tightness of the "clock" strategy will be next year, for example, the precision will be the moment of the launch of the Banias laptop processor.

The chip, studied in Israel and founded on technology different from that of Pentium, is characterized by very low consumption and efficiency in the calculation. Consumer in fact about 25% less than a Pentium 4-M and will be able to turn off entire compute sections to save electricity. But in parallel, just to save energy, Banias will also have a lower clock speed, albeit with greater efficiency.

According to some sources, the first specimens could start from 1.3 GHz and touch the maximum 1.6 GHz, far from the 2.2 GHz of today's Pentium 4 and light years from the probable 3 and beyond GHz that Intel's desktop processors will reach next year.

"They will have to focus on other aspects than nominal speed," Kevin Krewell of Microprocessor Report told C / Net. "The processor's performance will be high – added Dean McCarron, of Mercuri Research – but they won't be able to sell it using Megahertz".

The "trap" prepared by Intel and in which fall AMD that in the course of the last few months, even with more efficient processors but nominally slower than the Pentium, will spread wide under the feet of its creators?

We just have to wait until next year to understand it.

Meanwhile, we just note how Intel has faced the same challenge, for now losing it, when it launched the 64-bit Itanium chips, intended for the professional market. Powerful, efficient and much more expensive than Pentium, but also nominally much less fast, they sadly lie in a niche of the market, also surpassed in the field of servers by much less powerful processors but that bring stamped bombastic speeds in Megahertz