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The Intel Corporation is set to start production of its Israeli developed chip, the 65 nanometer (one billionth of a meter) multi-core microprocessor, which the company says will revolutionize the capabilities of computers.
Speaking at the Intel Development Forum (IDF) in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Intel vice president and general manager of its mobility group David Perlmutter said that production on the 65-nm. processor woulg start this quarter and that the first wave of products using the new technology would go to market in the second quarter of next year.
The 65-nm. processor is an upgrade from the 90nm dual-core processor and would enable computers to carry out more than one task at the same time with greater efficiency and size.
Perlmutter said that the company expected the number of products using dual-core processors to outnumber single-core chips by the third quarter of next year.
The move towards multi-core processing was a theme at the IDF, which took place in Israel for the first time on Wednesday with over 1,100 developers in attendance.
The event showcased the technologies and innovations around which Intel decided to carry out a major restructure at the beginning of the year.
Ten months later, the company had successfully transformed itself from being product-focused to a producer of computer platforms which provide end-to-end solutions for users, it said.
"We are no longer just a chip maker," said Perlmutter. "Intel is today verifying platforms which will affect every aspect of people's lives."
The company has structured itself on five platforms, or areas, around which it will focus its future technological development. These include applications in the digital enterprise, mobility, the digital home, digital health and emerging markets.
Christian Morales, VP of sales and marketing group and general manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Intel, said in an interview that the restructure was 90 percent complete and resulted in the redistribution of tasks for some 40,000 employees
Morales explained that each platform was an expression of what Intel saw as the key growth areas in the future.
"While there has been significant growth in enterprise and home applications and emerging markets, the fastest growth has been in mobility," he said. "Digital Health is a new market with great potential for technological development."
In line with this, Perlmutter said that laptop sales made up 35% of total computer sales in 2005, where they stood at 20% in 2003 and that Intel was responding to this trend by working to ensure that laptops would be lighter, WiFi enabled, with a longer battery life and cheaper.
Outlining the trends in the digital enterprise, Intel's largest platform, Morales said that the development of WiMax was key to ensure its growth.
"Communication in business is key and connection to the Internet it's major component," he said. The exponential growth that we've seen in Internet use will not continue without new technologies, and WiMax will provide for this."
Building on the WiFi model, which creates hot spots for Internet access and provides a wireless extension to cable and DSL in specific locations such as businesses, homes or an airport, WiMax extends that to a broader radius of up to 50 km. Intel said it expects WiMax to have full roll out between 2008 and 2010.
Morales acknowledged that Intel had not competed sufficiently in the computer gaming industry, with the greater market share going to competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). He said however that the company would be a lot more aggressive in this market in the coming year, where its dual-core processors will play a major role in "making gaming faster and cheaper."
Intel employs 100,000 people world wide and over 6,000 in Israel at its development and production facilities in Haifa, Jerusalem, Kiryat Gat, Petah Tikva, Yakum and Yokneam.
In July, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that that he was informed that the company had decided to build a new $4 billion chip-making plant in Kiryat Gat, which the company never confirmed.
A spokesman for Intel said Wednesday that the company had not yet decided on the location of the new factory and had no time line for the announcement.
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