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Chips Ahoy

Yesterday, Intel announced it has produced a batch of their new processor featuring two processor cores on a single chip. This Pentium Extreme Edition will support four “threads” using Intel’s Hyper-Threading. The chip is still not 64-bit, like AMD’s Athlon 64 processor, nor were the Pentium processor’s speeds mentioned. Who would need such extra processing power? Why Graphic artists and Gamers, of course. It is expected to be released some time during the second quarter.

In similar news, the trio of Sony, Toshiba and IBM released more details on their jointly-developed super chip the “Cell.” The processor will feature 8 processor cores all on a single chip. This stamp-sized wonder will run at 4.6 Ghz. The only known application is the upcoming PlayStation 3. The trio of corporations continues to preach that the Cell will find its way into many other consumer products, like DVRs and cell phones, and even supercomputers.

Once again we see gaming as the driving force behind technological advancement. This has been the case for much of what has become standard in todays computers. The sound card was needed by game developers to provide a more immersive experience, and it came. The CD-ROM may have been an also ran, if it wasn’t for the success of Myst. And would graphic cards be as ubiquitious as they are without Quake?

Luckily, it seems, that the latest round of advancements may move beyond the gaming arena. With any luck in the next few years we shall see a long line of products that make use of these processors for things beyond killing your buddies over the internet.

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