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Intel Moves Up 32nm Production, Cuts 45nm

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the seven-billion-dollar-bet dept.

Intel 193

Vigile writes "Intel recently announced that it was moving up the production of 32nm processors in place of many 45nm CPUs that have been on the company's roadmap for some time. Though spun as good news (and sure to be tough on AMD), the fact is that the current economy is forcing Intel's hand as they are unwilling to invest much more in 45nm technologies that will surely be outdated by the time the market cycles back up and consumers and businesses start buying PCs again. By focusing on 32nm products, like Westmere, the first CPU with integrated graphics, Intel is basically putting a $7 billion bet on a turnaround in the economy for 2010."

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193 comments

gnaa first posts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805933)

you eat my asshole.

Performance Is Overrated (5, Insightful)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805959)

I used to work for a processor company. I learned one thing: it's impossible to beat Intel, they just invest so much in technology that even if you come up with a smarter cache algorithm, a better pipeline, or (god forbid) a better instruction set, they'll still crush you.

That used to be true for the last 20 years. The only problem today is that no one really cares anymore about CPU speed. 32nm technology will allow Intel to put more cores on a die. They'll get marginal, if any, frequency improvements. We just need to wait for the applications to follow and learn to use 16 cores and more. I know my workload could use 16 cores, but the average consumer PC? Not so sure. That's why I'd like to see prices starting to fall, instead of having same prices, more power PCs.

--
FairSoftware.net [fairsoftware.net] -- where geeks are their own boss

Re:Performance Is Overrated (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805979)

Another first post from Alain. Hawking his lame website.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806505)

first post was from the gnaa. But I guess that doesn't count, because you hate niggers.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (4, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806115)

I know my workload could use 16 cores, but the average consumer PC? Not so sure.

The average consumer PC uses: * wordprocessing, which barely needs it, but can use it when performance is necessary, for background processing like print jobs, grammar checking and speech recog * spreadsheets, which lend themselves very well to multithreading * games, which could lend themselves well, if engines start doing stuff like per-creature-ai and pathfinding (ignoring stuff that's already on the GPU like physics and gfx) in proper threads. * web browsing. Admittedly, webpages are not the ideal scenario for multicore, but with multiple tabs, and multiple subprograms (flash, javascript, downloads, etc.) all running in threads, this could utilise multicores well too. Presumably future use of more XML etc. will help to push the boundaries there. If we ever get down the road of RDF on the desktop, then multicores will be very useful, in collecting and merging data streams, running subqueries, etc.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806167)

That used to be true for the last 20 years. The only problem today is that no one really cares anymore about CPU speed. 32nm technology will allow Intel to put more cores on a die. They'll get marginal, if any, frequency improvements. We just need to wait for the applications to follow and learn to use 16 cores and more. I know my workload could use 16 cores, but the average consumer PC? Not so sure. That's why I'd like to see prices starting to fall, instead of having same prices, more power PCs.

We don't need more cores. Someone should have realized it by now. Raw CPU output isn't what the market needs anymore (even on Gentoo, which is kinda hard to accept).

We need the same CPU with less power usage.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Insightful)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806469)

We need the same CPU with less power usage.

If people are going to stick with web browsing and multimedia entertainment for the rest of their lives, the processors in their present state can serve the purpose just fine. However if more and more people actually take computing seriously, the availability of multiple cores to do parallel computing on your own desktops would be a dream come true for most people involved in computationally intensive research disciplines. If I had the ability to use 8 cores at 2GHz, at all times, I'd have finished my analysis in less than a week. But with no such luxury (back in 2005) I had to queue my process on a shared cluster and wait until morning to see the results.

Raw CPU power with multiple cores isn't needed for everyday use, but there is a need for such processors in research circles.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806663)

However if more and more people actually take computing seriously, the availability of multiple cores to do parallel computing on your own desktops would be a dream come true for most people involved in computationally intensive research disciplines. If I had the ability to use 8 cores at 2GHz, at all times, I'd have finished my analysis in less than a week. But with no such luxury (back in 2005) I had to queue my process on a shared cluster and wait until morning to see the results.

Blah. Do you know how much CPU it took to fucking land someone on the moon? Why does it take 200 times that just to browse the web?

I know some people need raw computation, but c'mon. The average boot time is still ~60 seconds on the desktop. Why?

And it doesn't even matter, which OS. Why do we need more calculations to get ready to so something than it took to get someone up there? Seriously.

Modern software is bloat. Let's do something about that, first.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806735)

Landing on the moon was simple newtonian physics. Not a hard problem to solve at all. If you want something really hard, try cracking RSA. Try protein folding. There's a lot of problems out there that are a lot harder to solve than landing a craft on the moon.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806831)

Landing on the moon was simple newtonian physics. Not a hard problem to solve at all.

Yeah, browsing the web should take up at least 10000x that.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807607)

And winning the stanley cup is easy - you just have to score the most goals!

All problems can be boiled down to simple essentials, but figuring out the details is usually pretty hard.

RSA and protein folding may seem hard now, but once they're solved, and passed thorough the filters of Nova and New Scientist, boiled down to their most uninformative and simple essentials, people will probably say that cracking RSA was simply applied math and modeling protein just took the principles of biochemistry and a lot of cpu cycles.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807753)

The physics and math of the navigation is (computationally) easy. The hard part is building the high performance, high reliability vehicle. There are many, many hard problems in rocket engineering, but most of the ones associated with the software aspects of guidance, navigation, and control are staightforward. Going to the Moon is hard; no doubt about it. That really says nothing about the computing required, though.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (5, Informative)

mephistophyles (974697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806857)

I wasn't around when they landed someone on the moon so I can't quite comment on that bit, but I can tell you what I (and the rest of my kind) use the extra processing power for:

Finite Element Analysis (simulating car crashes to make them safer before we crash the dummies in them).
Multibody Dynamics (Simulation of robot behavior saves a ton of money, we can simulate the different options before we build 10 different robots or spend a year figuring out something by trial and error)
Computational Fluid Dynamics (designing cars, jets and pretty much anything in between like windmills and how they affect their surroundings and how efficient they are)
Simulating Complex Systems (designing control schemes for anything from chemical plants, to cruise control to autopilots) Computational Thermodynamics (Working on that tricky global warming thing, or just trying to figure out how to best model and work with various chemicals or proteins)

This is just the uses (that I know of) that more raw power can help out in Mechanical Engineering. I still have to wait about an hour for certain simulations or computations to run and they're not even all that complex yet. The faster these things run (even a few percent increases) can save us tons of time in the long run. And time is money...

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806931)

This is just the uses (that I know of) that more raw power can help out in Mechanical Engineering.

I see your point. Raw power is needed when you do things that need raw power.

But for the average desktop? Why would even watching a video on youtube need a 16-core processor?

People got along just fine on Pentium II's.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807235)

Why would even watching a video on youtube need a 16-core processor?

You clearly underestimate how much Flash sucks.

People got along just fine on Pentium II's.

And they did quite a lot less. Ignoring Flash, those Pentium IIs, I'm guessing, are physically incapable of watching a YouTube video, and are certainly incapable of watching an HD video from, say, Vimeo.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807693)

I clearly remember when the Pentium (original 60-MHZ version) came out, that was the big selling point was the capability of watching videos on it. In fact, I've got a CD I picked up back then that had the Beatles movie A Hard Days Night on it, and it played fine on my old 486.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807929)

But how much of that is the need for raw power VS the problem of really crappy code? I surf and watch Youtube just fine on a 1.1GHz Celeron, but that is because I'm using Win2K. If I was to try ANYTHING in Vista on a 1.1GHz Celeron with 512MB of RAM I'd probably commit suicide out of frustration just waiting on the damned thing to boot to the desktop!

The point is when I got into computing ( and yes I'm old, dammit!) programmers squeezed every bit of performance they possibly could while using as little resources as possible. Why? Because they didn't have multicores with craploads of RAM to waste. But now I have noticed the software has taken on the SUV model of not caring how crappy the resource suckage as long as you can add more crap to it. That is why I am hoping that this trend towards Netbooks ends up with programmers looking at performance again. There is NO reason you should need a freaking dual core to watch Youtube! Coders need to learn to write efficient code again instead of expecting Moore's law to do the heavy lifting. Because with the economy in the toilet and prices likely to go no where but up when it comes to energy we could all use more efficient machines instead of simply filling up the cycles with ever more bloated code.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

fr!th (834381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807863)

Well, youtube with its 640x480 video might not tax your machine, but try checking the recommended specs for MythTV. Remember that 'simple' things like watching a movie and recording Greys anatomy is something that the average citizen has been taking for granted for a few decades now.

Then add multiple camera-angle sporting matches in full HD (hey, a guy can dream!), and you see that having a few powerful cores can be quite useful in the home.

Your general point does stand though, outside a (simulation, file, web, media) server environment, anything more than a couple GHz is probably wasted.

Does allow botnets to send even more spam per second though!

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26808013)

But you can't watch a Flash video on a PII, can you? My 2.2 GHz Mobile Pentium IV on my Thinkpad is a bit slow with YouTube in full-screen. Keep that in mind.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26808123)

But you can't watch a Flash video on a PII, can you?

Can you watch any other video? If so, Flash is bloated.

'Nuff said.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806901)

Blah. Do you know how much CPU it took to fucking land someone on the moon? Why does it take 200 times that just to browse the web?

Because space travel is mathematically dead simple, you have a couple of low-degree differential equations to solve for a very small data set. A high-school student could probably do it in an afternoon with a slide rule (in fact, I think I recall hearing that (early?) astronauts actually did carry slide rules in case of computer failure). Video codecs (like for youtube) are much more complex and operate on much larger sets of data.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (3, Funny)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807933)

I believe that they still have a slide rule as standard issue equipment on NASA space missions. It's hard to argue with the cost associated with adding an additional layer of fault tolerance... If it could, in a pinch, be used to plot a survivable reentry or a similarly life saving task when they sent the first rockets to space it can still serve the same function today. Sort of like the saying, "an elevator can't break, it can only become stairs."

Enhance YOUR Performance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807903)

Do you have any idea how much computational power is needed for decent automated image analysis of the crap on alt.binaries.* to return RELEVANT results to SINCERE, specific, PORN requests?

I can't believe how much mis-classified crap there is out there. It is almost as bad as spam.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807925)

200 times the performance of this beast [wikipedia.org] ? I don't think you'd have much fun trying to browse today's web this way..
Modern software can be seen as bloated, sure. But OTOH PCs are a lot cheaper than they used to be, making the bloat not seem as bad, IMO. Hardware is cheaper than programmer's time, by a long shot.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807011)

We already got lower power CPUs. See the Athlon X2 series (a lower power Athlon64 X2), 11 of which have a 45W TDP. Don't forget about laptop CPUs that happen to fit in desktop boards. And then the Intel Atom and VIA Nano CPUs. And that's on the x86 side only. There is also ARM and others. And the die shrink will help to have lower power usage as well.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Informative)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806189)

I disagree strongly. Processor speed is still very important - just not for the average consumer. For quite some time now, the majority of consumer applications have been IO and/or GPU bound.

There is no such thing as a 'fastest useful processor' for some people, primarily in research and academia.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

zizzo (86200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806589)

It is true that some sectors will always need more power. It is not clear if those sectors are large enough to support the enormous and growing cost of each subsequent generation of CPU technology. Right now, scientific computation is essentially getting a subsidy from the gamer community. I don't know if this will continue to be true in the future. Game workloads currently do not benefit much from multicore designs and it is unlikely to be a "small matter of programming" to get there.

As specialized domains of computation become divergent in their needs, the goal of making one CPU design to rule them all gets harder and harder.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (3, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806731)

If someone made a CPU with many cores (>25, let's say), then one easy way to use all those cores would be to have each NPC have their own pathfinding thread.

The problem right now in game design is the wide variety of hardware on the market. You still have gamers like me who are still running on single-core machines, and you have people who are running quad-core hyper-thread machines. As a game studio, you have to code for everyone. If you make a thread for each NPC now, then the task switching alone would choke the CPU for most games.

You can read about Valve's difficulties making the Source engine multi-threaded in their paper "Dragged Kicking and Screaming: Source Multicore". http://valvesoftware.com/publications.html [valvesoftware.com]

Re:Performance Is Overrated (4, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806193)

Disclaimer: I work for Intel, but have no bearing on company-wide decisions, and I'm not trying to make a marketing pitch. I'm merely making observations based on what I read on public websites like /. and Anandtech.

That's why I'd like to see prices starting to fall, instead of having same prices, more power PCs.

Prices are falling. Price cuts were just made nearly across the board.

Plus you can buy a $50 CPU today that's cheaper and more powerful than a CPU from 4 years ago.

Die shrinks necessarily make CPUs cheaper to make, because more chips can fit onto a wafer. Also, if you take a 65nm chip of a certain speed, and move it to 45nm, then power consumption is reduced. The same will be true moving to 32nm.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806777)

Things are getting really cheap. I just replaced my home motherboard+cpu+ram for $200, and now I have dual core with 2GB of RAM. At work, we just got a quad core with 4x500 GB hard disks and 8 Gigs of ram, a complete system, including case and power supply for $1000. To contrast, I bought a computer 10 years ago, it cost $1800, and only had P2-266, 1x4GB HD, and 64 MB of RAM. Boy are things cheap these days. You can get a state of the art gaming rig for $1500.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807283)

$1800? That's pretty pricey for those specs in 1999. I got my Celeron 366, 1x4GB HD, 32 MB RAM, 4 MB SiS Graphics Card for a little under $500 in 1999. I do get your point though. Things are cheap these days you could build a decent gaming rig for that amount.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807889)

Yeah. I remember speccing out my first home-built system. The Socket 5 motherboard cost $175. You can now get motherboards for $30-40. The Cyrix 6x86 chip was $150 (an actual Intel chip cost nearly twice that). You can now get basic CPU's for under $50. The case + power supply was $80. Current price about $35. A fairly small hard drive ran $150. You can get drives for $35 now. RAM was $40 per stick for about the smallest useful size. A 1GB stick of DDR2 will now cost you $12.

Computers have been getting both faster and cheaper for quite a while now. The thing is, while I certainly believe CPU's are fast enough for most people now (honestly I think we'll gain more by advances in storage speeds, and internet bandwidth, then processor speed), I think Intel, AMD, and the like can't really go that route and survive in their current form. Their business model has been largely built around a growing number of computer users, and all existing users having to buy a new system (or upgrade their old one, which almost always involves a new CPU) every few years. When that race is over, the rate of purchase for chips will plummet. It's in their best interest to try and continue to push the R&D and make bigger/faster chips, and to then push marketing to convince people that they need them.

And for what it's worth, being a geek, programmer, and person generally interested in seeing technology continue to progress forward, it'd be somewhat depressing (no matter how logical) to see simple economics stop our progress in this area.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807993)

Yeah, but now they will just sell more CPUs for notebooks. Between the Atom and the Centrino, Intel is going to sell a lot of CPU's. For one, people replace laptops fairly often, they break so easily, and there are still features being added that make upgrading attractive that aren't easy to upgrade without replacing the whole laptop (Better displays, batteries, blu-ray drives, web-cams, etc). Also, there is more useful speed to be gained in the laptop market because of the bias towards power-savings. Add to that the netbook market taking off and things don't look so bad for Intel.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806977)

"Prices are falling." When a new CPU is released today, it is about the same price as it was 18 years ago for the latest and greatest. And then the it moves down the chain until it drops off about the $50USD point. Yeah we get more power, inflation adjusted it's cheaper but interesting how the price model stays the same.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807005)

Also, if you take a 65nm chip of a certain speed, and move it to 45nm, then power consumption is reduced. The same will be true moving to 32nm.

Maybe. Capacitance-related power consumption will fall, but didn't one of the more recent process shrinks actually increase power usage because of unexpectedly high leakage currents? I know there were news articles about some sort of unexpected power issues relating to a process shrink.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807347)

additionally: what is the lifetime of these smaller chips? Or the percentage of faulty cpus.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (4, Informative)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807393)

Additional disclaimer: I'm not a CPU engineer, and this is still based on things I read on public websites.

I can't find the article, but Anandtech explained this well. Apparently the high-k+ process that's used in 45nm and smaller Intel chips make for incredibly low leakage currents.

I did, however, find a graph that shows total system power consumption moving from 65nm (Conroe) to 45nm (Penryn), at the same clock speed: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3137&p=6 [anandtech.com]

Re:Performance Is Overrated, if you cant' beat 'em (2, Funny)

Reddragon220 (890851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806219)

After dealing with intel's op code hell, all I can say is that whoever comes out with a better method of recording op codes and their uses than the labyrinthine intel and amd manuals will become my patron saint.
But seriously is there any good x86 op code references out there?

Re:Performance Is Overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806229)

The real question is: when will Intel integrate a TPM into the processor.. effectively giving you no choice about buying into the Trusted Computing world of vendor lock-in.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806275)

> That's why I'd like to see prices starting to fall, instead of having same prices, more power PCs.

They're already cheap enough. I want faster! Then I can run virtual machines, and shitty web servers will perhaps be fast enough too.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806807)

We just need to wait for the applications to follow and learn to use 16 cores and more

No, not every application needs to be written to operate on X number of cores, operating systems and virtual machines (Java, .NET, etc.) need to allow the applications to run, regardless. What makes sense, optimizing many many new (not legacy) applications to suit more cores, when in a few months (moore's law) more cores will be crammed on a chip? Or, perhaps the OS designers and virtual machine architects need to allow their software to act as a hypervisor to both new and old applications to take advantage of multiple cores, possibly dynamically updating the software to set the number of cores for the software to run on.

Makes sense to me, at least. I don't want to have to recompile/redesign something so it can evolve with the hardware - isn't that what HAL is all about anyways?

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807089)

look up the inferno OS. Basically someone created their own version of java/.NET and embedded it into the Kernel. number of cores, processor types, hell even where on the network doesn't matter.

while I don't know if Plan 9 will be the next answer. Inferno's Ideas are what is really needed. MSFT singularity is a more modern version of it.

My personal idea is that during Boot,a built in virtual machine(maybe FPGA based so it could be upgraded with new tech) starts. Apps can then be run from arm, x86, itantium, alpha, etc without compiling.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (0, Troll)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807203)

Singularity, to me, is one of those projects the previous article about Microsoft spending money on frivolous research projects was all about. All apps sharing the same address space? Are they insane? I know Netware gets away with it quite a bit (NLMs use kernel space 95% of the time), but they don't have the apparent number of exploits/reason to exploit as Microsoft's code does. I've always wondered about an OS that used a cross-CPU executable format (at the OS level, sorry Java and .NET), but I wonder how well inferno OS does this? Google will surely tell...

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807127)

IANA (I Am Not Awake):

No, not every application needs to be written to operate on X number of cores, operating systems and virtual machines (Java, .NET, etc.) need to allow the applications to run on multiple cores, regardless of development/other factors.

...possibly dynamically updating the software on a per-machine/core# basis to set the number of cores for the software to run on tailored better for that user's processor in a more HAL-like manner..

There, fixed it for... me.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806845)

32nm means that the same processor can take half the area on the die. You could use that to get more cores, or you could just use that to get more out of the wafer.

I think someone noted not too long ago that the price of silicon (in ICs) by area hasn't changed much over the years. But the price per element has sure gone down due to process reductions.

If you change nothing else, your 32 nm chip will consume less power and cost less than an otherwise nearly identical 45 nm chip.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26808111)

We should be getting close to where you can put the whole system - CPU, RAM, video card - all on one chip. That should slash costs for packaging and interconnects. It should be fast, too, since the system RAM basically becomes all cache.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

kanuac (473178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806885)

Performance Is Overrated

I very much agree with that. At least within CPU performance.
But speed not only comes from the processor, there's a balance -synergy if you like- between all the components: Data transmission (decreased boot-up time, speed up moving large files over hard disks & network >> HD movies, trailers, lossless audio... = S-ATA Rev. 3.0), better connectivity (faster transfers from external devices = USB 3.0), faster graphic rendering (better power management, more data bandwidth, etc. = PCI-E 3.0)...

CPU speed -as well as more MHz- is fine, but not the most important matter to get an all-around responsive computer.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (2, Insightful)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806893)

I know my workload could use 16 cores, but the average consumer PC? Not so sure. That's why I'd like to see prices starting to fall, instead of having same prices, more power PCs.

What will happen is that the "average consumer PC" wiil do different tasks, not just today's job faster. For example what about replacing a mouse with just your hand. A webcam-like camera watches your hands and finders. It's multi-touch but without the touch pad. OK there is one use for 8 or your 16 cores. Maybe the other 8 cores can answer the telephone for you and determine if the phone should ring (smart phone call screening) I can think of LOT of things I could do with 16, 32 or 1,000 cores that simple can not be done today.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that most compute power would be used to move pixels around on a glass screen. That is mostly what computers "compute" today, the user interface.

Re:Performance Is Overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806941)

I maxed out 8 today :D that was fun!

Re:Performance Is Overrated (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807587)

I understand the questioning of the need for CPU speed, fine, but I wouldn't dismiss the potential for power consumption gains. Wouldn't smaller feature sizes also allow Intel to make lower power processors? I'd like to see more notebooks that work longer without having to be tied to a wall outlet.

OVER 9000 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805989)

OVER 9000th psot. I remember the days when computers used vacuuum tubes. Actually, no. Not really.

Why wait for 22nm? (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805999)

At some point this roller coaster ride has to end. I mean, why not put off development until the NEXT iteration then?

Re:Why wait for 22nm? (3, Interesting)

plague911 (1292006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807107)

Just a guess of mine. But the fact of the matter is that some semiconductor phd's out their think that the end of the line is coming for the reduction in device feature size. I believe my professor last term said he figured the end would come around 22nm mark not much further. I could be wrong about the exact number (i hated that class). But the point is once the end of the line is reached. Profits hit a brick wall and the whole industry may take a nose dive. Right now every year there is bigger and better being released. But what happens when technology stagnates? There will probably still be progress but the rate of progress will likely be slowed substantially. In short semiconductor companies may be in a race. But none of them want to finish that race.

A problem for AMD? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806033)

We;ve seen leaprog attempts lead to delays before. If this means AMD gets 45nm before Intel gets 32nm, doesn't that give AMD a performance window?

Re:A problem for AMD? (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806253)

If this means AMD gets 45nm before Intel gets 32nm, doesn't that give AMD a performance window?

You mean being only one step behind instead of two?

This isn't a leapfrog attempt (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806951)

For one thing, Intel has always been ahead of, well, everyone pretty much on fab processes. This isn't saying Intel will skip 45nm, they can't do that as they a;ready are producing 45nm chips in large quantities. They have a 45nm fab online in Arizona cranking out tons of chips. Their Core 2s were the first to go 45nm, though you can still get 65nm variants. All their new Core i7s are 45nm. So they've been doing it for awhile, longer than AMD has (AMD is also 45nm now).

The headline isn't great because basically what's happening is Intel isn't doing any kind of leapfrog. They are doing two things:

1) Canceling some planned 45nm products. They'd planned on rolling out more products on their 45nm process. They are now canceling some of those. So they'll be doing less 45nm products than originally planned, not none (since they already have some).

2) Redirecting resources to stepping up the timescale on 32nm. They already have all the technology in place for this. Now it is the implementation phase. That isn't easy or fast. They have to retool fabs, or build new ones, work out all the production problems, as well as design chips for this new process. This is already under way, a product like this is in the design phases for years before it actually hits the market. However they are going to direct more resources to it to try and make it happen faster.

More or less, they are just trying to shorten the life of 45nm. They want to get 32nm out the door quicker. To do that, they are going to scale back new 45nm offerings.

Makes sense. Their reasoning is basically that the economy sucks right now, so people are buying less tech. Thus rolling out new products isn't likely to make them a whole lot of money. Also it isn't like the products they have are crap or anything, they compete quite well. So, rather than just try to offer incremental upgrades that people probably aren't that interested in, unless they are buying new, they'll just wait. They'll try and have 32nm out the door sooner so that when the economy does recover, their offerings are that much stronger.

Over all, probably a good idea. Not so many people are buying systems just to upgrade right now, so having something just a bit better isn't a big deal. If someone needs a new system, they'll still buy your stuff, it's still good. Get ready so that when people do want to buy upgrades, you've got killer stuff to offer.

Nicwe economic conspiracy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806047)

Actually they were able to step up some of there fabs faster then expected.

Safe Bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806089)

Despite the doomsayers, counting on the economy turning around by 2010 is a pretty safe bet. It's already being demonstrated that the housing bubble burst around September was not nearly as bad as the media/politicians made it out to be.

Re:Safe Bet (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806117)

That's presuming that the same media/politicians don't make it worse.

Re:Safe Bet (1)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806361)

You should have been modded insightful. How much blame can be placed at the feet of the people telling us how bad everything is? They tell us the end is near so we stop buying and it snowballs. Nobody is buying so no one is producing and blah, blah, blah. I am not asking for my own special rose-colored glasses, but I'd sure like for the talking heads to show a little constraint once in a while. NO, not censorship. Restraint. Compassion. I know they gotta make their story juicier than the other guys, but jeez. I'm rambling...

Re:Safe Bet (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806493)

Despite the doomsayers, counting on the economy turning around by 2010 is a pretty safe bet. It's already being demonstrated that the housing bubble burst around September was not nearly as bad as the media/politicians made it out to be.

The housing market by me: Four years ago, 3 bedroom house 2.5 bath $600,000. last Sept same place: $240,000. Last week same place $230,000.

The prices were over valued four years ago. The only thing is that people who bought four years ago are still in the hole. They still need to pay down as fast as they can before they sell or they still owe after selling. Many people are totally screwed. I kind of wish the housing stimulus/fix bill would give some back to single home owners who homes dropped in value (or corrected in value). The Fed could cut a check in your name to the banks to pay off the percentage drop on your mortgage. That way the banks get their money and the people get credit for the chunk they lost on the housing market crash. Thus lowering the amount they people still owe on their mortgages. Giving directly to the banks helps the banks, while screwing over the single home owners. The home owners still have to pay all of the over priced homes while the banks got paid off already. Good for the banks, bad for the people.

Re:Safe Bet (5, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806675)

The prices were over valued four years ago. The only thing is that people who bought four years ago are still in the hole. They still need to pay down as fast as they can before they sell or they still owe after selling.

What about those of us who made good decisions and didn't buy a house which was tremendously overpriced? Why is it our responsibility to bail out the greedy and the stupid? Enough is enough. Without consequences, this crap will continue forever, in all industries. You'll have to excuse those of us who live within our means and don't buy overpriced crap if we're more than a little pissed at having to carry all the dead weight.

Re:Safe Bet (5, Insightful)

Spit (23158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807697)

That's the problem with being intelligent: you'll always be in the minority and thus always at the mercy of the tyranny of the masses.

Re:Safe Bet (4, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807735)

FYI, poor people don't disappear when you stop looking at them.

Having large amounts of poverty in the nation will breed crime, reduce sales, cause layoffs, and generally decrease the quality of life for those of us who planned ahead.

Sometimes it sucks to be one of the responsible ones. If you didn't learn that throughout grade school and college, then I don't know what more to tell you.

Re:Safe Bet (5, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806809)

The home owners just mail the bank their keys.

In most states the bank has no recourse beyond the value of the house. It the states that they do have recourse the left over debt can be discharged in bankruptcy.

Why should be GIVE real estate speculators back their losses? ALL real estate buyers in 2004 were speculators. Anybody who is buying into a market that is 'evaporating up' (jargon for maintaining no inventory with raising prices) is speculating.

Would they have given us a share of their profit if things had turned out differently (not even taxes, CG are sheltered if you live there).

They made a bet, they lost. They can already dump most of the loss onto the bank. Screw them. They bid real estate up to insane prices. They are not without fault.

Any fix like you suggest will only make things worse in the long run. Foolish investors should lose money or there is no incentive to invest wisely.

Should we make the Enron investors whole too? Madoff? Netscape? Tulip Bulbs?

This is the real estate buying opportunity of a lifetime.

We shouldn't have bailed out the banks ether.

We shouldn't call a Trillion dollars of pork a stimulus. If Obama is correct and Stimulus == spending then we could just print money, buy the cellars of France dry, have a party and viola the problem is solved. Not gonna happen, spending has both stimulative and depressive affects. The money has to come from somewhere. Newly printed moneys value is extracted from the rest of the money in circulation. In my simplistic example France's wine industry would see the stimulation while the rest of the US economy would see the depressive affect.

Too bad the vast majority of the leaches stuck on the government tit don't produce anything like the good wine.

Re:Safe Bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807609)

Spending via the Presidents stimulus bill is necessary, will improve the economy, and will soften the blow to millions of unemployed Americans. Taxes, though, need to be raised on the wealthy to start reducing the debt.

No country can be prosperous without a strong middle class. Over the past several republican administrations the middle class has been exploited with unfair deregulations. Energy deregulation caused a huge spike in the cost of energy for the middle class. Investment deregulation caused speculation driven by bankers and investors in multiple financial sectors, such as housing. Health care costs continue to spike at multiple times inflation--to the point that a middle class individual with a family can no longer afford healthcare. The U.S. is becoming a 3rd world nation thanks to neo-con republicans.

Taxes need to be raised so that everyone pays their fair share. Healthcare needs to be nationalized, private insurance is no longer affordable to the middle class. Corporate lobbyists need to be barred from buying off politicians with gifts, parties, and million dollar jobs.

Re:Safe Bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807831)

Finding a way so that those homeowners can refinance at a low rate long-term mortgage does indeed help the problem. They're stuck at the same house for 20 years, but they pay back all the money... just not ridiculous amount of interest too. Bank wins, housing market wins, individual homeowner wins (as long as they bought the house for the purpose of living in it).

Re:Safe Bet (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806749)

That the housing bubble did not fully burst is a BAD thing. Houses in many markets had reached an all time high multiple of average wages (to the tune of almost DOUBLE their historic averages). The fact that those prices weren't brought down nearly in line with historic averages means that we will either have a significant period of zero growth in housing (good) or that we are due for another round or two of devaluations (bad). Add to that the complete deterioration in consumer confidence due to wave after wave of mass layoffs and you have the recipe for a very bad time. Many economists have noted that the US savings rate has tripled in the last quarter which would normally be a good thing (we haven't been saving enough for almost a generation), but the fact that it happened all at once is NOT good as it can easily lead to a spiral of deflation as money is pulled out of the economy and the velocity of money decreases significantly.

Nope. Bad bet. (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807421)

Despite the doomsayers, counting on the economy turning around by 2010 is a pretty safe bet.

Nope. Very bad bet.

If it were just a housing bubble it would have been a couple years of recession and we'd be coming out of it about then. The people and institutions who wrote bad mortgages and the people who bought houses too high would be hurt or bankrupted, the housing prices would drop to something sane, construction would slow (or stop for a while) until the unsold inventory and foreclosures had been sold off (or destroyed by neglect or arson for insurance) then pick up, and the capital now tied up in housing construction would be moved (again at a reduced price) to other productive uses. We're seeing a bit of that now.

This time they "securitized" the bum mortgages and "bought insurance" - "credit default swaps" - to the tune of MORE than the Gross World Product, in order to get multi-A ratings on the paper backed by baskets of subprime mortgages. When the housing prices started down a bunch of people defaulted all at once. So those who "wrote the insurance" had to dump a whole bunch of commodities on the market (depressing the prices further) to raise funds to "pay off the insurance". Thus when "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded" there was a lot of collateral damage in other markets. But that also would have sorted itself out after a couple years.

Unfortunately, the governments of the world, especially that of the United States, decided to try to "fix the problem". And now they're replicating EXACTLY the class of mistakes that turned a similar recession into the Great Depression - but more extremely, more rapidly, and without the safety net of the gold standard. The result, IMHO, is that we're probably in for a depression that will make the '30s look mild and short. And hyperinflation seems far more likely than not.

Thus my sigline.

As I see it, too much has been done ALREADY for a proper recovery to get started around 2010. (For starters, we're only about halfway through the underlying housing market collapse: The subprimes are largely crunched. But the teaser rates on a lot of other mortgages are expiring and even the government's billions of unbacked paper can't push the interest rate down far enough to save them - just to stretch out the agony.)

If Intel is betting the farm on a hi-tech recovery in 2010, somebody else will probably own the farm in 2011.

Re:Nope. Bad bet. (2, Insightful)

complete loony (663508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807631)

The 90's recession should have been much worse, enough to pull the debt to income ratio back into line. It would have sucked, it may have been nearly as bad as the Great Depression. Instead since then almost every western country has been running their economies on credit cards and home loans leading to stupefying ludicrous bat-shit insane levels of debt. And when they ran out of rational borrowers, they started lending out money to anyone with a pulse with no credit checks and invented all those stupid ways of hiding the risk that you mentioned.

So now that the whole mess has been exposed and house of cards is finally *starting* to fall, there is simply no way to stop it. It's going to hurt and it's going to effect absolutely everyone. No investment or currency will be safe.

Too big to fail (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806111)

Intel is basically putting a $7 billion bet on a turnaround in the economy for 2010."

And if they lose the bet then they can just ask for a bailout like the financial firms and auto industry did. Because Intel is too big to fail.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806549)

The market cannot allow Intel to fall. No other company in the world can supply x86 processors with the reliability and volume that Intel does. AMD does not have the processor fabs to meet worldwide demand for x86 products. Even if Intel really screws things up, it still has significant market power.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806897)

...and that's when someone else, say Nvidia, steps in after Intel goes bust and buys them out. And the beauty of it is? Unlike your way, the taxpayers don't foot the bill.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807139)

Yeah. Because if Intel failed it's fabs would dissipate in a puff of smoke.

No they WOULD NOT.

Another company would buy them and hire the people that were working there.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807247)

AMD can certainly supply the material Intel supplies. Sure, Intel has us addicted to x86 with a turnover rate of only a few months, but this certainly can be stretched by a few months to allow AMD to play catchup. Every year a new cpu instead of six months.

The 32nm processors use less power. (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806127)

The biggest issue for Intel is that most people already have computers that are fast enough for them.... Or, they don't have the money or desire to buy a computer.

The 32nm processors, I understand, will reduce the power needed even further, making it sensible for data centers to upgrade.

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806199)

Not when the only OS you can buy needs the latest hardware to run.

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (1)

Perf (14203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807261)

Not when the only OS you can buy needs the latest hardware to run.

Then why buy?

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806451)

I've been hearing this debate for a while. I by no means am a "normal consumer" but I've always bought faster and faster hardware. I'm not some kind of hardcore gamer, it's just the price is dropped so why not?

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (5, Informative)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806517)

most people already have computers

Really? Have an eyeopening look here:

http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12758865&subjectID=348909&fsrc=nwl [economist.com]

Computer ownership is really very low worldwide. Even the US has only 76 computers per 100 people. Keep in mind that includes people like myself who, between work and home use, have 4 computers alone.

Some other socking figures:
Italy 36 computers per 100 people
Mexico 13 computers per 100 people
Spain 26 computers per 100 people
Japan 67 computers per 100 people
Russia 12 computers per 100 people

And the billions of people in China and India don't even make the list.

Seems to me that there are a lot more computers Intel could be selling in the future. The market is far from saturated.

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (2, Interesting)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806627)

Great point. People who bought their machines when the processors were at 65-nm won't need to replace them until about 2011. By then, according to Intel's own prediction, we would be in the sub 10-nm range.

This is from an article from mid 2008: full article [crn.com]

Intel debuted its 45nm process late last year and has been ramping its Penryn line of 45nm processors steadily throughout this year. The next die shrink milestone will be the 32nm process, set to kick off next year, followed by 14nm a few years after that and then sub-10nm, if all goes according to plan.

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806955)

I bet they start designing them to fizzle once the warranty is up. It's like the juicy fruit guys knocking the gum out of your mouth so you'll buy a new piece.

Imagine Intel's next marketing campaign with their ninjas messing with your computer so you'll upgrade.

The funny thing will be when everyone laughs at the commercials because they're so absurd while the real ninjas are actually windows updates slowing down their computers from the inside.

Re:The 32nm processors use less power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807103)

I disagree with the fast enough comment. Most people I know are fed-up with how slow Microsoft Office or Microsoft Visual Studio are. The last time I did print review in Word it took almost 40 minutes to complete. With the same 350 page document, it only took 25 minutes on my coworkers computer so I'm getting a new one next week. I need a really fast computer to use Word. Of course Visual Studio is an even better example. It's too slow to use on large projects even with the fastest systems available. Microsoft is bloating software faster than Intel is increasing the speed of their processors.

Alternatively (3, Funny)

pugugly (152978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806137)

Or at least, if the economy *doesn't* turn around by 2010, that the shitstorm will be so bad at that point they don't care.

Pug

Not even (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806581)

The shitstorm may be bad for them, but it'll likely be far worse for AMD to begin with. This is perhaps the best time for them to outspend AMD in research.

bet (5, Funny)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806169)

a 7 billion dollar bet? thats peanuts! wake me up when someone makes a 1.5 trillion dollar bet on the economy.

Re:bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806369)

Don't go to sleep just yet. The government makes 1.5 trillion dollar bets look like pocket change. The difference is, it's your money...

(sorry for replying the obvious and feeding the troll, at least I did it AC so most won't see it)

Intel's investment strategy (5, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806337)

Intel is basically putting a $7 billion bet on a turnaround in the economy

NEWSFLASH: Intel has been dumping 10 BILLION dollars a year into R&D since at least 1995. Did not RTFA, but if the blurb is to be taken at face value, the reporter obviously did no real research on the topic.

Re:Intel's investment strategy (5, Insightful)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806957)

Intel had a Fourth-Quarter Revenue of $10.7 Billion [intel.com] , so it isn't quite an insignificant amount, but if it were to completely disappear it wouldn't be a catastrophic problem.

Re:Intel's investment strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26807169)

yeah the blurb seems to miss the point. Also Intel was on track to launch 32nm this fall as planned ever since they started the tick-tock cycle. Every 2 years there is a new, smaller process and in the year between there is a new processor design. What Intel is actually doing is delaying some of the new designs until the 32nm process is ready. They are not moving the process forward.

Intel plans US Plants to Manufacture 32nm Chips (4, Informative)

hydertech (122031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807009)

Intel announced today that it was investing $7bln to build new manufacturing facilities in the US to manufacture these chips.

The new facilities will be built at existing manufacturing plants in New Mexico, Oregon, and Arizona. Intel is estimating 7,000 new jobs will be created. BizJournals.com [bizjournals.com]

Re:Intel plans US Plants to Manufacture 32nm Chips (4, Interesting)

adpowers (153922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26807535)

Yeah, I noticed that this morning when I read about the investment. They closed a bunch of older facilities in Asia, laying off the workers, and are building the new fancy fabs in the US (and creating high paying jobs in the process).

Of course, the next thing that came to my mind is whether Slashdot would cover that aspect of the story. Sure enough, Slashdot's summary completely disregards that Intel is creating jobs in America. I suspect there are two reasons for this: 1. It hurts Slashdot's agenda if they report about companies insourcing, readers should only know about outsourcing by "the evil corporations". 2. Because Intel is the big bad wolf and we can't report anything good they do.

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