05-04-2011, 10:09 AM
Destroyer of headlines
Join Date: Dec 2010
Intel Is Going To Announce Something Big Tomorrow—What Is It?
There are rumors that Intel is prepped to make a big announcement this week. The EE Times reported that Intel, on Wednesday, “will be making its most significant technology announcement of the year. No further details will be provided in advance.”
That got me searching for the current Intel rumors and tin hat foil theories. And because everyone likes the rumor guessing game, I’ve also added my own take. What’s my track record? Probably about as accurate as a coin flip. I once said it was unlikely that Apple would ever adopt x86 because it would lose control of the OS to piracy. I guess no one really wants to pirate OSX. However, I have predicted that Palm would eventually lose out to Windows CE despite Palm’s huge app support and Windows CE suckiness.
With that said, here’s my take on the rumors:
Rumor: Could it be the announcement of the highly anticipated LGA2011 socket and processor? A roadmap has apparently leaked and enthusiasts are already hyper ventilating about it.
Verdict: Unlikely. All the rumors say that new socket and chip won’t hit until later in the year so it’s unlikely to be announced this early as Intel still likes selling LGA1366 parts and chipsets. Once LGA2011 becomes official, LGA1366 becomes officially obsolete.
Rumor: What about the arrival of the Z68 chipset that everybody and their mother has written about for months?
Verdict: Unlikely. A new chipset is always exciting, but remember, Sandy Bridge CPU’s launched this year. It’s doubtful a new chipset is more “significant” than the CPU it supports.
Rumor: Intel will support USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt on its next chipsets series.
Verdict: Unlikely. That’s because Intel has already said it will support USB 3.0 and I think the expense of adding Thunderbolt to all chipsets would drive the cost of the chipset through the roof.
Rumor: Intel will announce Sandy Bridge support for iMac.
Verdict: Simply wrong. Double yawn. Frankly, who gives a ****, and that’s already been announced. And well, welcome to the SNB party Apple, perhaps you can start picking up the empty bottles and washing dishes. And help me get that ****** WebOS guy off the couch too.
Rumor: The 22nm process is doing great we’ll see Ivy Bridge CPUs right on time early next year.
Verdict: Possible. The EE Times quoted Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard as saying a 22nm announcement was imminent. For those not in the know, 22nm will be used in the Ivy Bridge chips that will succeed Sandy Bridge.
Rumor: Honeycomb is ready to go on x86
Verdict: Possible. We all know that Intel has been working overtime to get the red-hot green Android on Atom. So I think it’s very well possible. What’s interesting is with Microsoft’s move to support ARM with Windows 8 – an Intel move to get Android on x86 would officially seem to be the end of the WinTel empire.
Rumor: Apple will begin to use Intel to fab its own ARM CPU.
Verdict: Possible. This one would indeed be a big announcement as Intel has been hoping to sign up customers to soak up some fab time. Apple has also been having a pretty big public ****ing match with Samsung lately so this one has potential. However, I’ve always felt that Intel is all about the x86. Conventional wisdom says as the power of ARM increases, the power of x86 wanes. So would Intel really help dig x86 its own grave? And would Apple really let Intel make such an announcement?
Rumor: Apple will port iOS over to x86
Verdict: Unlikely. Apple changes architectures more than most nerds change underwear. But I really can’t see Apple moving iOS to x86 anytime soon, especially with the company’s investment in ARM. I just can’t. But again, I’ve been way wrong on Apple adopting x86 in the past.
Rumor: Intel will announce a new ARM chip design. There’s speculation that Intel might make another run at ARM. Intel has been in the ARM world before. It bought the StrongARM design from DEC and its XScale is still in service today.
Verdict: Unlikely. Yes, XScale is around today – but not under the Intel banner. Intel sold off XScale to Marvell in 2006 and has washed its hands of all things ARM. I know Intel has pivoted before – the company once pooh, poohed integrated memory controllers and the power of GPU computing – but introducing an ARM chip today would be like admitting x86 isn’t up for the task. I just don’t see that happening right now.