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Intel to detail 2000, future plans in Webcast

Andy Grove, CEO Craig Barrett, and other high-ranking Intel executives will provide details on the current state of the company as well as a more granular look into its 2000 road map later this afternoon.

Andy Grove, CEO Craig Barrett, and other high-ranking Intel executives will provide details on the current state of the company as well as a more granular look into its 2000 road map later this afternoon.

Diversity will likely be one of the major undercurrents of the two-hour teleconference which will be broadcast over the Internet. Last April, the company formally reorganized into four distinct, relatively autonomous business units as part of a plan to become the "building block" supplier of the Internet. The largest unit controls the development of all PC-centric products.

Although smaller, the three other groups, which are focused on networking chips, communications equipment, and services, have been the focus of intense activity. Over the past year or so, the company has acquired nine companies or separate divisions and spent more than $5 billion in the process.

2000 should be a fairly eventful year for Intel. The company is slated to release its first IXA network processors, chips that will serve as the nerve center for switches and other telecommunications equipment. Programmable network processors are expected to become a huge market. IBM and several start-ups are currently angling to establish primacy and market leadership in this area.

Toward the middle of the year, the company will release Itanium, a 64-bit chip for servers and high-end workstations that will compete with processors from Sun Microsystems.

Desktops will see changes as well. At the end of the year, the company has said that it will come out with Willamette, the code name for the family of chips that will succeed the Pentium III. Willamette processors will be based around a new architecture. By contrast, the P6 architecture, the basis of the Pentium III, has been around since the Pentium Pro.

A slide shown at a Pentium III launch earlier this week showed that Intel plans to ship desktop processors running at 1 GHz by the end of the year.

For budget PCs, the Celeron family of chips will likely see faster clock speeds and system buses, several Intel executives have said. Pentium III technology will also likely migrate to this line. Currently, Celeron chips are based around Pentium II cores.

The company is also slated to release a chip called "Timna" in the third quarter, sources have said, that will fuse a processor, a graphics chip, and a memory controller into a single piece of silicon. Although integration tends to blunt graphics power, these chips are less expensive than conventional packages.

Other speakers include Sean Maloney, senior vice president and director of sales and marketing, and Paul Otellini, general manager of the Intel Architecture Business Group, the company's PC chip division.

The Webcast, scheduled to take place between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., replaces the annual fall analysts' meeting. The next analysts' meeting will take place in New York next April.