Intel pushes graphics to sell high-end chips

Intel pushes graphics to sell high-end chips

Intel last week showcased some fancy graphics applications running on Intel-based workstations, part of an effort to grow the market for the company's most powerful processors. At the Intel-Microsoft Workstation Leadership Forum here, the chip maker showed off some colourful data visualisation applications which display large volumes of financial, customer and other information in three-dimensional visual form.

"Looking at rows and columns of information is going to become impractical with the large amounts of data" available to businesses over the Internet, said Paul Otellini, executive vice president with the Intel Architecture Business Group.

Intel and Microsoft have aggressively been targeting the workstation market in recent years, which used to be dominated by RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer)-based machines running proprietary Unix operating systems. The companies' top executives appeared at the forum to tout their combined platform.

Economies of scale offered by the Wintel platform - Intel-based machines running Microsoft Windows software - mean workstations can be priced low enough such that they are no longer the preserve of engineers, scientists and the entertainment industry, Otellini said.

At the end of the year, PC manu-facturers will start shipping work- stations with a new Intel chipset that has improved memory and graphics bandwidth, boosting the graphics capabilities of the Intel architecture, the company said.

"Over 50 per cent of all our research and development investment is going into the high end - into servers and workstations - even though that's nowhere near our main source of revenue," Otellini said.

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