PALM SPRINGS, Calif.--At the start of its annual developers forum here today, Intel Corp. executives demonstrated a 1.5-GHz microprocessor--code-named "Willamette"--and new production-level Pentium III-based systems operating at 1-GHz speeds. The company also showed off a mixed bag of technologies and design innovations aimed at creating new generations of business and consumer PCs.
Intel chairman Andrew S. Grove told an audience of 2,000 developers that technology requirements are accelerating because of the Internet. He said demand on information technology is growing "by power of 10," requiring not only more powerful microprocessors but also an infrastructure that can be scaled out.
"We have done this before with PCs. Now we are doing it for the Internet," Grove asserted.
The next-generation 32-bit Willamette will be introduced in the second half of 2000 with speed well over 1 GHz, said Albert Yu, general manager of Intel's Microprocessor Products Group. The architecture is based on a new hyper pipeplined design, which will enable instructions to be queued and executed at a faster rate inside the processor, according to Yu.
The new microarchitecture will use the computer industry's first 400-MHz system bus, which will run three times faster than the 133-MHz buses used with the Pentium III, Yu said.
Also during the opening day of the Intel Developer Forum, the company unveiled concept PCs that fit in the palm of a hand, and it held the first demonstration of USB 2.0 products. Intel also promoted advanced PC graphics, which is dubbed the "Beyond AGP4x Initiative."
"The PC is evolving rapidly, not only in speed, but also in simplicity and style," said Pat Gelsinger, vice president, Intel Desktop Products Group. "Intel is working with the industry to deliver a wide range of new PCs for a new generation of Internet computing."
In demonstrating USB 2.0-based systems, Intel attempted to show improvements being made to the new specification for the Universal Serial Bus. USB 2.0 products are expected to hit the marketplace in the second half of 2000 with up to 40 times the bandwidth of current USB 1.1-compliant products. The increased speed will open the door for more functionality and higher performance for PC peripherals, such as printers, high-resolution video cameras and fast external storage units.