Intel Archive

Intel Application Accelerator 2.0 Released

If you are the lucky owner of one of these Intel motherboard chipsets, you can now install the Intel Application Accelerator 2.0, a new performance software package for Intel-based desktop PCs. This new version brings the following enhancements: faster boot time, accelerated disk I/O for games, graphics Applications, disk utilities, and edia authoring applications, performance-enhancing data pre-fetcher for Intel Pentium 4 processor-based systems, support for 137+ GB IDE hard drives. Check a benchmark here. The download supports Windows NT4/2000, Windows 98/SE/Me & WindowsXP Home/Pro.

Dell Discontinues Intel Itanium Workstation

"Dell Computer Corp. has discontinued its Itanium-based workstation due to weak demand, marking another setback in Intel Corp.'s efforts to promote its 64-bit chip released eight months ago." Read the rest of the report at ExtremeTech. Our Take: It is astonishing (and truly disapointing) to see a super-chip (a real wonder in the CPU design), like Itanium is, not being able to sell well, mostly because sysadmins not wanting to give up on x86. I think, now I understand better when software companies choose to support legacy code, even if it bloats their product. It seems to be a necessary reason to commercially succeed, no matter what we geeks say about clean designs and speed. Let's see what the new Intel 64-bit CPU McKinley can do in the marketplace. The failure of Itanium so far also caused Intel to try competing with AMD Hammer in the x86-64 bit area.

Intel Designs a 64bit x86 CPU?

Rumors abound that Intel is designing 64bit extensions to it's Pentium line, in case Itanium turns out to be a flop: "Intel's decision to back the novel Itanium architecture had upset a small group of Intel engineers in Oregon, who preferred to build on the x86 legacy. When AMD released the specifications of its upcoming 64-bit chips in the summer of 2000, these ``cowboy'' engineers decided that Intel needed to match its rival. They began developing their own 64-bit extensions to the Pentium line, making sure the code was compatible with AMD's design." Update: MercuryCenter has an article about this too.

Intel Launches New Compilers for Linux

From the Press Release: "Intel Corp today announced version 5.0 of the Intel C++ Compiler for Linux and the Intel Fortran Compiler for Linux. The compilers are specifically designed to help developers fully utilize the architectural innovations in the Intel Itanium and Pentium 4 processors, allowing for easy access to all of the performance features of Intel's latest processors." Our Take: The big news is not just to dryily report this release for Linux. The real news here is that Linux can now have an incredibly good compiler. Sharing a house with 4 ex-Be engineers in the past taught me at least one thing: the Intel compilers are many times faster (in generated executable code quality and compilation speed) than GCC 3.X and even VC++. While GCC is free and Intel's Proton costs $399, still, for professional use or for apps where execution speed matters (games or scientific software for example), Proton and VTune seems like the clear choice.