Intel - Microprocessor Champion and Industry Bellweather
Clearly and unquestioned, microprocessor technology has transformed industry, commerce, and our lives over recent decades, and Intel has long been the overall leader in this key technology. First dominating the PC industry, Intel moved up into server computers with Windows NT, and the combination attained a large majority share (by number) of servers sold by the end of the last decade. Now, with the help of enterprise partners, including Unisys and Microsoft, the workhorse 32-bit families, which have been the mainstay to-date (and will continue), are joined by the impressive, new Itanium Architecture for 64-bit computing, with the arrival of the Itanium processor Intel posted revenues of nearly $34 billion, profits of $10.5 billion, and spent $3.9 billion on R&D last year, with an employee count rising to over 86,000.

In the company's own words, Intel sees itself as: "Having developed technology enabling the computer and Internet revolution that has changed the world, Intel is at the forefront as a pre-eminent building block supplier for the Internet economy. Today, companies incorporate Intel-architecture-based solutions to create successful e-business infrastructures, from Internet servers to data centres, desktops to workstations, and laptops to network PCs and on-line services."

Referring to the new 64-bit engines: "The Itanium processor is set to become the e-business engine for the enterprise, and the Unisys ES7000 provides an excellent platform for the take-off of the Itanium processor in Europe," said Gordon Graylish, Marketing Director, Intel EMEA. "Our Itanium processors will power the high-end, back-end servers in the E-Business Data Centre, and Unisys is clearly positioning itself as a major player in this exciting marketplace."

The company considers the e-business revolution is only half complete. Intel believes that new supporting technologies will enable the next e-business generation. It claims that the Itanium Architecture is built to handle high data volumes, rapidly and securely. Intel's new Itanium Architecture, the future 64-bit engine inside e-business, and to the Intel E-Business Network, a complete industry that is providing best-of-class solutions for enterprise e-business infrastructures, are key aspects.

Comment
Intel has worked for a decade to drive its processors upscale from their PC origins into enterprise IT, and now sees this aim realised. The success of 32-bit Intel-based servers in the mid-range market, where they now dominate, was a first step. Powering true enterprise-class servers, such as the Unisys ES7000, was another. After years of development, the next step, the Itanium Architecture and the Itanium processor are now finally here. These 64-bit systems provide a massive jump in architectural headroom, are able to handle dramatically larger memory, bigger databases, and faster processing which, as software support and applications for the platform increase, will make these processors the core engines of e-business during the next decade.

Intel continues to meet Moores Law, more than doubling processor performance every 18 months, and achieving 'learning curve' volume gains and cost reductions, despite the ever growing transistor/chip counts, and the soaring costs of fabrication plant for the lower micron technologies required. We consider that other processor architectures with smaller volumes, previously secure in the higher enterprise space, will find increasing difficulty in tracking the curve Intel can set.

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