Thursday, 31 May 2007

Pringles from Intel = Printel??

I just read an article this morning in about intel's plans to release a quad-core processor next year. AMD I believe is doing the same thing. Now, before you criticise me for being technically ignorant, I will first admit that I am an amateur geek. I am the kind of person that obtains joy not from inventing a new way of doing something but the kind of person who breaks something and then has a great deal of fun trying to fix it so that it is back in the same condition as it was before so I can use it for something else.

So back to my quandary about the duo, duo2, quad-core processors and however many chips Intel or AMD wish to stack together in the future.

Have we already hit the holy grail of processor speed? A couple of years ago when Pentium 4 chips were still in vogue, the speed that they being offered to mass consumers was in the vicinity of 2.8 GHz. Then the Parallel Processing craze took over and the speed of the individual chips of a duo was dropped to 1.83 GHz. The notebook that I am currently using sports a 1st generation Duo with two 1.66 GHz processors.

My question is: If all the new rage is stacking processors that are two thirds the speed of the fastest mass produced processors from two years ago, Has Intel given up on making faster processors? Have we hit the proverbial one minute mile of processors speed? Have we all but resigned ourselves to the fact that you can't fly across the atlantic?

If the speed at which we are now computing is not the result of faster better processors but by how many processors you can fit in a box then has Intel effectively redefined the consumer expectation? Does the consumer no longer want the speed vs size ratio to increase and are they happy to accept that the current pinky sized processors will never get any faster?

Parallel processing is a term that I heard at university more than a decade ago and I am sure that professional geeks have (armed with a soldering iron on the floor of their parents garage) plugged multiple P4 chips to a single computer in a quest to make it go faster.

What I am dumbfounded about is the lack of consumers outcry. Has our lust for speed blinded us to the fact that instead of being sold a faster better car, Ferrari has simply made a bigger car that can fit two v12 engines in it.

Has Intel (as the uncontestable market leader) simply dictated what the market should think? Will Intel's marketing campaign next year simply be "4 Chips Good, 2 Chips Bad"?

If this is really the case then this strategy can be applied to many other consumer products? Will be see the return of platform shoes under the tag line "Dr. Martin's Duo Sole".

The only intelligent thing that I can say further about this..........Oink!

No comments: