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Intel also talks "Sandy Bridge" and "Tunnel Creek."

The poor global economy of the last year meant that profits were down for just about every major computer manufacturer and hardware maker in the industry. Consumers and corporations held onto tight funds rather than spending on upgrades and new computers. One of the few bright spots was in cheap consumer devices like netbooks and server processors where power savings offset the cost of the upgrade for some companies.

With the worst of the economic crisis hopefully over, consumers and businesses are starting to spend again on computers. Surprisingly, many consumers and corporations are buying in the higher-end range of the market rather than the low-end with netbooks. With the increased spending in the higher-end market Intel has boomed. The company posted its earnings figured yesterday and reported a massive jump in profit of over 400% compared to the same month in 2009.

Profit at Intel was a massive $2.4 billion or 43 cents per share. The exact growth percentage was 433% reports 
CNET News. The 43 cents per share earnings significantly eclipsed what analysts expected Intel to post at 38 cents per share. Q1 2010 revenue was $10.3 billion, a 44% increase from Q1 2009. CEO Paul Otellini stated that it was the best quarter ever for Intel.

Analyst Doug Freedman from Broadpoint AmTech said, "Consumer and corporate are spending more on horsepower. They're buying high-priced machines in a time that you would think budgets would be tight."

The big factor in the whopping profits for the quarter was in mobile processor revenue. There were massive shortages of Intel's new 2010 line of Core processors due to demand from computer builders that are just now easing. With shortages, Intel was still able to turn record profits.

Profit reports were not all Intel had up its sleeves this week. The company has also announced a new Atom-based SoC codenamed
Tunnel Creek. Tunnel Creek is aimed at IP phones, printers, and in-vehicle infotainment systems for cars and trucks. The new SoC integrates an Atom processor core, memory controller hub, graphics engine, and video engine into one highly integrated chip. The first mass use of the new SoC will be Chinese carmaker HawTai. The company will use the new SoC in an in dash infotainment system in some of its vehicles.

"Intel is committed to focus our technologies on innovative new applications in China," said Doug Davis, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's embedded and communications group. "We're cooperating closely with local companies in China to provide smarter and better connected computing solutions for cars, homes, businesses that provide infrastructure to power a more mobile and faster Internet experience." 

The new SoC will allow companies to create PCI Express compliant devices that directly connect to the chip for the first time. Intel claims that this feature will increase flexibility for embedded applications.

Intel also shared some of its vision for the future this week. Intel talked a bit about its next generation
Sandy Bridge processors set for production late in 2010. The new processors will be constructed with the second-generation Intel Hi-K 32nm process technology. The processors will also be the first to support Intel Advanced Vector Extension (Intel AVX) instructions. Sandy Bridge will also support Intel AES New instructions.

Intel AVX accelerates the trend towards floating point intensive computation in general applications like 3D modeling and scientific simulation. Intel AES-NI is a set of software instructions that accelerates encryption and decryption.
Sandy Bridge will also have Intel's sixth generation graphics core with acceleration for floating point, video, and other processor intensive applications.

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By Dribble on 4/14/2010 11:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
A low powered atom designed for phones is not a practical user of windows 7. It doesn't have the cpu grunt, the memory, the hd space, and anyway windows 7 would be a rubbish os for a car info system or phone - it's designed to be used with big screens, mice and keyboards.

Hence that argument doesn't really stand up.

RE: Still not competitive even with current ARM SoCs
By Sahrin on 4/14/2010 2:01:26 PM , Rating: 3
I don't understand your point. The OP said they were similarly capable - if one is capable of doing significant task X and the other is not, isn't that a counter-example?

It sounds like you agree with me, but you think that Win7 is not a significant feature. I can tell you as a buyer of computer products, it is, because I will not buy a netbook that doesn't support Windows 7. Having used an Atom-based netbook with win7, I can tell you that it runs fine.

You then bring up phones - I guess my question is, who said anything about phones? What phone is Atom sold in now? (None) Then why would you compare it to a phone implementation? Cortex *is* however used in Netbooks, making comparing Atom to Cortex in netbooks a perfectly valid comparison.

By rudy on 4/14/2010 4:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would say something about phones and this may even be why WP7 is going to be so radically different. I think WP7 will not be as flexible and at first thought that M$ had abandoned us but if you think about it there is soon to be an SOC capable of running a phone with a full copy of windows 7. And I will definitely be buying that. Being able to do and install anything on my phone that is also on my computer will be a revolution for many who need real functionality. Sure it will not be the greatest OS but it will be a short time before some people make interface changes that make it good. Just strap a larger batter on it.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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