Intel says 'Giga PC' arriving soon

In his keynote address Tuesday at the WinHEC 2001 conference, Gelsinger said the arrival of innovations such as gigahertz-speed system buses, gigabit connectivity, gigabyte storage capacity, and faster Intel Pentium 4 processors will all happen before the end of the year.

"The result of all [these innovations] will be what we think of as the Giga PC," Gelsinger said.

WinHEC is Microsoft's annual developer's conference for computer makers.

The Intel CTO also told the audience to expect a 1.7GHz version of the Pentium 4 chip "very shortly".

According to Gelsinger, a Giga PC will likely run a version of the Windows XP operating system. Microsoft announced a Beta 2 version of the simplified OS Tuesday, promising full availability by the end of the year. XP is based on the Windows NT kernel, according to Microsoft.

"Windows XP and the Pentium 4 processor will enable [the Giga PC]," said Gelsinger, who added that Intel and Microsoft are aligned to deliver the Giga PC before the holiday shopping season.

On the IA-32 front, Gelsinger said an SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) version of the Pentium 4, code-named Brookdale, will arrive by the end of the year. IA-32 is Intel's name for the company's 32-bit PC operating system.

On the IA-64 front, Gelsinger said that Intel's McKinley chip is still set to go to market next year. McKinley, Intel's next-generation 64-bit processor for high-end database applications, will be followed by improved versions of itself, code-named Madison and Deerfield. No time line was given for Madison or Deerfield.

Intel only recently began pilot programs for Itanium, McKinley's proof of concept, late last year.

Gelsinger also said 64-bit client computers running a 64-bit version of Windows XP will hit the market in the second half of this year.

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