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 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.
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 will debut the Northwood Pentium 4 chip with 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz models next week. With double the cache and DDR memory, PCs equipped with the smaller and faster new chips promise to give AMD a new level to surpass." Read the story at ZDNews.
Intel and Symbian have announced that the two companies will work together to accelerate software development for wireless devices based on the Intel PCA and the Symbian OS. Just check out how sweet these mobile phone devices look like here, here and here.
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.