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Higher Speed Processors on the Way

Techstination feature for Friday, August 2, 2002

Think your computer's fast now... .just wait! Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. That 1 GHz machine on your desk may still seem pretty new... .but Intel and rival AMD are getting ready to push processor speeds ahead at breakneck speeds. Intel will be up to a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 chip soon... ..and could hit 3 GHz before the end of the year. While AMD has been falling behind in the processor speed race, it plans to unleash what it calls ClawHammer technology by the end of this year...

"The product will actually have 64 bit capability inherent in the processor in every one that we sell, whether it's for desktop, servers, workstations or for mobile, they will all have a 64 bit capability built into them."

AMD VP Ed Ellett. What he is talking about is essentially a bigger pipeline that can access massive amounts of memory. While most popular operating systems and applications don't take advantage of 64 bit processing, the new chips will work with existing versions of Windows and software. But AMD is working with Microsoft and others so that future operating systems will be able to use the 64 bit capabilities. About whether the faster computers can help pull the PC industry out of its lingering slump, Ellett says...

"As an industry participant for the last twenty years I'm personally just as optimistic now about the future of the industry as I've ever been. I believe that the economics that the 8th generation family delivers is very in sync with what it is the industry needs in terms of delivering next generation performance at the current price points and the current cost points."

AMD says it will take until the end of 2004 to completely convert its entire product line to that new generation of chips. So far, Intel's 64 bit processor... the Itanium 2... has been aimed solely at the server market. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.