Computex - Intel chipset marks AMD offensive

Computex - Intel chipset marks AMD offensive

Intel has launched a new chipset for desktop computers and vowed to take back market share lost to AMD by the end of the year.

The P965 Express chipset, formerly code-named Broadwater, will work with Intel's new Core 2 Duo desktop processor (Conroe), which goes on sale next month.

Together, the new desktop chips would offer a big boost in PC performance, including better graphics, while using less power, Intel senior vice-president, Anand Chandrasekher, said.

They are among several upcoming products designed to help Intel claw back market share lost to AMD. Others include the Woodcrest server chip due later this month, and the Merom laptop chip, due in August. Like Conroe, Merom and Woodcrest are based on Intel's new Core processor design, which replaces its current Netburst architecture.

Chandrasekher said Conroe would be 40 per cent faster than Intel's best desktop chip today, but consume 40 per cent less power. The Merom notebook chip would offer 20 per cent better performance, while Woodcrest, the server chip, would offer an 80 per cent lift in performance using 35 per cent less power.

The figures are based on unofficial Intel estimates using a benchmark called the SPECint_rate_base2000.

It's in the server arena that Intel could use a boost the most, since it is here that AMD's Opteron processors have been stealing market share.

Chandrasekher vowed it would start to recover market share from AMD by the end of the year. Intel will also relegate its Pentium line of processors to what it calls its value PC segment, alongside the Celeron.

That brand would be used for very low-end PCs, such as those sold in emerging markets, Chandrasekher said.

The upcoming Core 2 Duo chips. would occupy Intel's top pricing band, and existing dual-core chips the middle tier. Intel's first ultra low voltage dual-core notebook processor, the Core Duo U2500, would ship this month, he said.

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