Paul Otellini, Intel's president and CEO, kicked off this season's IDF by coining the phrase "It's what's inside that counts", and spoke about why processing power matters again. A few years ago, he noted, PC Magazine declared that consumers couldn't use all the processing power at their disposal, but thanks to changes with software and with the industry in general, that situation has changed. Next generation gaming, more powerful desktop search engines, photo and video editing, and more powerful operating systems like Vista and OSX are driving the need for more powerful processors again.
Paul cited YouTube as an example. A typical 60 second clip will utilize 100% of the CPU resources offered by a first-gen Pentium M processor that's only a couple of years old.
He also spoke extensively about HD video and that the trend toward higher resolutions, and high definition encoding and decoding on the PC requires up to eight times the processing power of standard SD video. He also spoke of users now being more mobile, so the need to process HD also has to come in conjunction with lower-power requirements, which in-turn requires more energy efficient processors.
He then spoke about Intel's new leadership in the "Performance per Watt" arena. He stated that the 60-day ramp of the Core 2 Duo was the fastest in Intel's history. There is no question Core 2 duo is flying off the shelves both within OEM partners and retail, so this stands to reason.
Mr. Otellini, a nice Italian fellow like a few of us here at HH, then moved on to Kentsfield and Quad-Core. These new multi-core CPUs will be targeted at the enthusiast market at first and it was confirmed that they will be available in volume in November.
The first chip to hit retail will be known as the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. Future models will be known as the Core 2 Quadro. These chips are a straight-forward integration effort of two Core 2 Duo CPUs on a single substrate and tied to the same front side system bus. Finally, he claimed huge performance gains over existing dual-core processors, and talked about how current threaded software can readily take advantage of the chip.