The future of Intel's manufacturing processesby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 11, 2000 1:23 AM EST
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10GHz by 2005 running at < 1 volt
The P6 micro-architecture was introduced with the Pentium Pro at 150MHz in 1995 and is still with us today with the Pentium III at 1GHz. The P6 architecture will be with us for a little while longer, in the end offering clock speeds close to 1.3GHz if not higher which is close to a 9x increase in clock speed since the architecture’s introduction. Thus it isn’t too far fetched to assume a similar scalability from the Pentium 4’s NetBurst architecture.
Realistically speaking, we should be able to see NetBurst based processors reach somewhere between 8 – 10GHz in the next five years before the architecture is replaced yet again. Reaching 2GHz isn’t much of a milestone, however reaching 8 – 10GHz begins to make things much more exciting than they are today. Obviously this 8 – 10GHz clock range would be based on Intel’s 0.07-micron process that is forecasted to debut in 2005. These processors will run at less than 1 volt, 0.85v being the current estimate.
This brings up the obvious question, what would you possibly want to do with a 10GHz processor?
Running Microsoft Word can only take so much processing power, regardless of how complex your documents may be, so there’s no real need for such a powerful processor in conventional application areas. However there are areas that definitely could use a little more power.
Intel is stressing their focus on pattern recognition as it applies to voice dictation and face detection among other things.
Imagine being able to speak normally with your computer as you would a secretary sitting next to you and have your computer accurately and quickly take notes from your speech.
Imagine logging onto your computer not via a user name and a password but by sitting in front of your display and having it scan your face to figure out if you are allowed access to the computer.
These are things that Intel is claiming will be possible by 2005 with the type of processors that will be available in desktop systems. It’s definitely going to be a bright future if this does hold true. Intel is working very hard in developing the software that will help make these visions a reality. Just think of all that has happened in the past 5 years alone, is the future that we’re painting for you all that far fetched of an idea?