Haifa R&D work continues to marvel

The world's largest chipmaker unveiled its latest product billed as "the world's best processor."

Intel Corp.'s Haifa R&D facility is once again making headlines as a leading driver for innovation in the company, as the world's largest chipmaker unveiled its latest product billed as "the world's best processor." Intel launched the next generation Intel Core 2 Duo processors on Thursday, which will be applied to consumer and business desktop and laptop personal computers and workstations. "The Core 2 Duo processors are simply the best processors in the world," said Paul Otellini, Intel's president and CEO. "Not since Intel introduced the Pentium processor has the industry seen the heart of the computer reinvented like this." The launch comes just one month after Intel unveiled its server-oriented, next generation microprocessor line, also developed at the Haifa center, which has remained unfazed by the barrage of Katyusha rockets that continue to hit the city. "Output has not been affected by the violence," said Koby Bachar, spokesman for Intel Israel. "The factory is still open although some of our employees are working from home and connecting to our server from there [as a result of the situation]." Similarly, the city as a whole, which is renowned for its concentration of R&D and engineering activity, continues to work despite the attacks. Yitshak Apeloig, president of the Haifa Technion, Israel's major science and engineering school, said the city's R&D activity was still functioning with approximately 75% of workers still attending work and many working from home. With international corporations such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Phillips all hosting R&D facilities in Haifa, and many connected to the Technion, Apeloig believes the conflict will not affect their decisions to operate there. "They are more concerned on a business level about competition from China and India when considering their Israel operations," Apeloig said. "I don't believe the political situation will have an affect and besides it's too early to tell." Meanwhile, as Intel builds a new production Fab in Kiryat Gat, which will to add to its existing one at that location and its R&D facilities in Jerusalem and Yakum, the Haifa unit continues to turn out innovations that are being used in a majority of the world's computers. "Ultimately, tens of thousands of businesses will sell computers or components based on these processors," the company said of the new processor line. Code named "Conroe" for the desktop architecture and "Merom" for laptops, the new processors use the also Haifa-developed 65-nanometer silicon process technology and are believed to provide a 40 percent increase in performance at a 40% greater energy efficiency compared to previous Intel processors. The new family of products consists of five desktop PC processors tailored for business, home users and enthusiasts such as high-end gamers, and five mobile PC processors designed to fit the needs of a mobile lifestyle. The company claims the new products - the 10 Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel Core 2 Extreme processors - will reshape how computers perform, look, consume power and transform the way people use them. The Haifa facility was also responsible for the 65 nano-meter multi-core microprocessor, which also serves as the basis for the Intel Viiv and Centrino Duo mobile technologies.