Only 2?

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that there’s a pattern when a CPU company is having problems making a chip. The advance chips either don’t show up, or if they do, they show up slow.

That was the case with the initial Hammers, where the first models on public display ran at only 800MHz. It was the case with Prescotts when engineering samples ran at only 2GHz.

This is the history we need to keep in mind when looking at 65nm chips, like those on display at the IDF.

Yes, Intel did have a dual core 65nm machine up and running. At 2GHz. Given that the initial 90nm dual cores will run at an average speed of 3GHz; this isn’t too good.

Shame no one managed to get a temperature reading on these.

A curious amnesia seems to possess press people at such events. At IDFs, Intel usually tosses out a demonstration of what they plan on selling 12-18 months from now, so this shouldn’t be any big surprise. If you get impressed by that, you’re too easily impressed.

However, the track record for such demos is that they’re out to run as quickly as possible, and faster than what’s out there today. Yes, the Era of Speed is over, but this is a lot slower. Intel has been deemphasizing speed, but they haven’t gone so far as to say “much slower is much better.” At least not yet. 🙂

But It Won’t Be Out for A Year!

True, and maybe they will get a lot faster over the next year. But, based on what we’ve seen over the past couple years, maybe they won’t, or at least not to the degree one might expect or hope.

If Intel has things under control, those 65nm chips ought to be giving some signs of eventually ending up either much faster or much cooler-running or much more something or another than the 90nm chips, and Intel would be trumpeting that. For instance, if they were running at 3GHz, that would be pretty decent at this point in time.

But just 2GHz, with no trumpeting, raises questions.

It’s something that bears watching in the months ahead.


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