Intel’s new chip design developed in Israel

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger introduces two new microprocessors during the Digital Enterprise keynote at the Fall Intel Developer Forum held last week in San Francisco, Calif. (Photo by Intel Press Relations).The Intel Corporation has unveiled its next generation micro-architecture, a multi-core …

Intel’s Pat Gelsinger introduces two new microprocessors during the Digital Enterprise keynote at the Fall Intel Developer Forum held last week in San Francisco, Calif. (Photo by Intel Press Relations).The Intel Corporation has unveiled its next generation micro-architecture, a multi-core processor which was completely developed at its facilities in Israel. The processor – which was introduced last week at the Intel Development Forum (IDF) in California – will be used in all Intel-based computers from next year.

Speaking at the forum, Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini introduced the new 65 nano-meter (nm) microprocessor, saying that it was designed to bring increased power per watt and that it was expected to deliver an improvement of three to five times the strength of previous products.

“We will deliver ‘factor of 10′ breakthroughs to a variety of platforms that can reduce energy consumption tenfold or bring 10 times the performance of today’s products,” Otellini said.

Each chip will have two processors – the equivalent of two brains – so that they can do more work without overheating. A dual-core processor enables computer programs to work on more than one task at the same time. This means consumers will get desktop computers that can handle multiple tasks at the same time, like playing a movie while editing a video, or smaller laptops that have longer battery life.

The new processor will make this capability more efficient, according to Intel. The technology will be applied to laptops, for which it is code-named Merom, desktop computers (code-named Conroe) and server platforms (Woodcrest). Merom’s architecture, the company said, is based on the same dual-core processor (code-named Yona) used in its Pentium-M laptops, which was also developed in Israel.

While Yona was developed in partnership with one of Intel’s California centers, the 65nm microprocessor product is the first to be developed in its entirety, both the architecture and strategy, by Intel engineers at its Israel plants in Haifa and Yakum.

The next-generation design has its roots in Intel’s Pentium M laptop chips, developed in Haifa. That suggests the Israeli chip designers have become the pre-eminent architects – over Intel’s engineers in Santa Clara and Oregon, – Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies, told The San Jose Mercury News.

“This is a paradigm shift,” Nathan Brookwood, analyst with Insight64 of Saratoga, Calif. “Historically, Intel would design a desktop processor and tweak it for notebooks and servers. The seed of the next generation will be from the mobile, not desktop, group,” he told the EE Times.

The shift essentially puts Intel’s mobile design teams in Israel at the head of the queue for concepts that are then fed to desktop and server teams in the United States. “Right now, the Israeli design approach is sweeping through Intel,” Brookwood said.

The new technology will go into production towards the end of this year, the first products of which will enter the market in the second half 2006.

“We expect to ship 60 million dual-core processors in 2006,” Otellini said. “By the third quarter of 2006, we expect our CPU (computer processing unit) shipment based on 65nm to surpass 90nm shipments,” he added.

Intel operates four development centers in Haifa, Yakum, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva, and two production facilities in Jerusalem and Kiryat Gat, employing 5,400 people. In addition to investing $666m. to refurbish the Kiryat Gat plant, the company plans to establish a new $4 billion manufacturing facility next to the factory.