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Intel's Otellini Promises More Cores, Grand Security.

Paul Otellini kicked off the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose yesterday by outlining another way to increase the amount of silicon the vendor ships - multicore processors on the desktop.

The Intel president and COO's opening key note also dropped hints on its desktop and server roadmaps, gave more details of the vendorEs security strategy, LaGrande, and also announced a virtualization strategy for personal computers.

All the while, Otellini majored on themes the vendor has been pushing for the last couple of years, touching on convergence, wireless and the vendorEs push into the phone and handheld markets.

Whereas previous IDF presentations might have concentrated on the latest speed bumps for the vendorEs desktop processors, Otellini opted to push other features. He highlighted the vendorEs Hyper-Threading technology, saying it was now pervasive in its Xeon server processor range, and would be on 50% of its performance desktops this year. He predicted it would be pervasive on its performance desktops next year.

While Hyper-Threading means a single processor system looks like a dual processor system to software, Otellini then went one better, holding out the prospect of dual and multi core capabilities 'in mainstream client processors over time.'

Otellini said many software applications were already multithreaded, as was MicrosoftEs mainline client operating system, Windows XP, meaning they would be able to exploit this capability.

Multicore systems will be appearing in IntelEs server range much sooner. Otellini said Tulsa, the next generation of Xeon due after Potomac, will feature dual core processors. He said Tulsa was two to three years away. On the Itanium 2 line, dual core technology will appear with the Montecito line.

Tanglewood, the next iteration after Montecito, will feature multicore chips. Tanglewood will represent the first fruits from the Alpha development team Intel acquired from Compaq, and Otellini said it would offer seven times the performance of its current Madison generation of Itaniums. Otellini would not be pinned down on when Tanglewood would appear, except to say it would be after Montecito, currently calendared for 2005.

While Otellini was vague on when mutlicore computing would hit the desktop, he did set some milestones for the roll out of LaGrande, the vendorEs hardware-based security technology. Otellini ran a demonstration of the technology, highlighting ways in which it should enhance security. These included addressing hacker tactics such as keystroke detectors and memory dumps. He said Intel was working with a number of partners on the technology, Microsoft key amongst them, and expected to bring it to market in the next two to three years.

Having security software built into the CPU has raised privacy concerns, and Otellini sought to defuse these. He said customers would be able to buy systems with the technology disabled, and would have the choice to opt in and opt out of LeGrande.

Otellini also unveiled a new technology dubbed Vanderpool, which the company said will allow PCs to operate like mainframes. Vanderpool will allow multiple operating systems to be run on a single PC. Intel said this virtualization-like technology will increase the robustness of PCs, as well as offering increased security. Vanderpool looks like it will be running behind LeGrande, with Otellini saying the technology will appear in the next five years.
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Title Annotation:Intel Developer Forum
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 17, 2003
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