MarvinTM writes: "Ian King — Bloomberg
Five hundred employees and guests crowded under a white tent half the
length of a football field at Intel Corp.'s Santa Clara, California,
headquarters as Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini put his
company's newest line of computer chips through their paces.
"These are the best microprocessors we've ever designed, the best
microprocessors we've ever built,'' Otellini told the audience. "This
is not just incremental change; it's a revolutionary leap.''
Otellini's pronouncement relegated to obsolescence Intel's Pentium
chip, which once powered more than 80 percent of the world's personal
computers. That wasn't the only surprise last July.
A camera zoomed in on engineers in lab coats in Haifa, Israel. The
video revealed that the chip Intel is counting on to recover from a
battering by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. wasn't invented in Silicon
Valley. Instead, Intel is betting on a group of Israeli mavericks and
a design bureau 7,400 miles away.
Shmuel Eden, former head of the Israel Development Center where the
new Core 2 Duo was created, says he's fed up with the perception that
Intel's prowess is fading.
"They (the Israelis) saved the company,'' Doug Freedman, an analyst
in San Francisco for Greenwich, Connecticut-based brokerage American
Technology Research, says. "Without those new products, Intel would
be in a lot more trouble.''
Otellini's bet on the Israelis required a shift in thinking about how
processors work -and how Intel markets them. Intel had always
promoted the mantra that faster clock speed, the rate at which a chip
executes instructions, was the key to measuring how well a computer
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No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware
until three software guys have signed off for it.
-- Andy Tanenbaum