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Pat Gelsinger says chips have to keep getting faster
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 03 November 2007 10:32
INQ Interview Part 1 Intel's geek in harness on the continuing need for CPU speed
The Inquirer
By Martin Veitch: Friday, 02 November 2007, 10:22 PM

ON THE EVE of Monday’s Penryn debut appearance, The INQUIRER caught up with Intel Digital Enterprise Group SVP Pat Gelsinger. A 28-year veteran of the company, Gelsinger dates back to 286 and 386 design teams and has held a series of key positions at the company.

We grabbed an hour of his time to catch up on pretty much everything we could squeeze in before Hexus TV did its thing. In that time, we talked about computing formats, GPUs, the relationships with Microsoft and AMD, phones and the true, shocking story behind why INQ editor Mike Magee calls him Kicking Pat.

In this first part, Gelsinger discusses why we should care about yet another new chip…

Having seen four decades come and go, beginning when punk ruled the music scene and Margaret Thatcher was moving into Number 10, and TV consisted of three channels, I asked whether he isn’t a bit jaded by yet another processor generation.

“Some of it gets to be [tiring when] you deal with the same questions for 30 years but it’s the magic of what we do - this business of doubling transistors and putting computing and communications into the hands of every human on the planet. If you take that definition [of the challenge] we have a long way to go.”

Sure, but back in the days of the 386 it was pretty obvious why you wanted the extra CPU cycles. I mean, Windows 3.0 made the 386 a slam dunk, right…

“You think it was a slam dunk?”

Well, you know…

“What a revisionist historian you are! We had people saying, ‘32 bits! That’s a minicomputer, that’s a VAX. Who ever could use that much physical memory?’ The question was the same at the time as we get now. Moore’s Law is reasonably linear. We’re doubling performance of our chips approximately every two years but software follows hardware. The job is to create a vacuum and the available performance jumps up to be the new normal.”... Much More     Comments in the Forums


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