Low-Power Processors Net High-Power Handhelds

The tech industry is on a new "performance per watt" course that will deliver powerful Intel-based computers that are increasingly smaller, sleeker and more energy-efficient, says Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

At this week’s Intel Developer Forum Fall 2005, Otellini unveiled the company's next-gen micro-architecture for future digital home, enterprise, mobile and emerging, converged market platforms.

Intel will introduce the micro-architecture in the second half of 2006, combining Intel NetBurst and Pentium M micro-architectures and adding new features. The multi-core foundation will help enable unique computer designs that will power the industry's most sophisticated and user-friendly digital home and office PCs, the company claims. It will also help IT managers increase responsiveness and productivity while reducing real-estate and electricity burdens companies face as server data centers grow.

"We will deliver factor-of-10 breakthroughs to a variety of platforms that can reduce energy consumption tenfold or bring 10 times the performance of today's products,” Otellini says.

Otellini showed the first public demonstration of Merom, Conroe and Woodcrest processors for notebook, desktop and server platforms designed on Intel's advanced 65-nanometer technology manufacturing process. He also says Intel has more than 10 processor projects that contain four (quad-core) or more processor cores per chip.

Otellini also talked about forthcoming lower-power products leading to a new category of ultra energy-efficient "Handtop PC" devices that provide a converged communication and PC-like experience but require less than a watt of processing power and weigh less than a pound.