Local assembly channel welcomes P4

Local assembly channel welcomes P4

Australian PC manufacturers, outsourcers and integrators have come out in support of Intel's Pentium 4 released last week, although initial sales are expected to be slow. Intel has reassured local OEMs supply constraints suffered earlier this year would not be repeated with the P4, and is encouraging them to develop systems around the chip through its Intel Premier Providers Program.

IT integrator ASI Solutions aims to capitalise on the processing power to sell through to graphics based markets, where improvements in speed offer considerable productivity gains.

Product manager Darren Miller said ASI did not participate in the new chip's launch because it was still involved in the validation process. He said ASI is pitching the Intel processor at the high-end, multimedia market but is not expecting any great rush of buyers.

"This is truly a fourth generation product, it will not be picked up broadly initially because it requires significant upgrades, or a total system overhaul," Miller said. "It does not just plug into an old system."

While Miller concedes price is an issue at this stage, he also believes the chip will really take off as developers begin to create applications designed specifically for the P4.

It is in this area of product development that Intel partners are predicting major consequences from the wide spread implementation of the chips.

"It will certainly make a difference to applications that require high processing power, video editing and the graphics market are very interested in this technology," Miller said.

Manufacturers such as Sydney-based Optima are aiming the chip squarely at high-end multimedia applications. Optima marketing manager Andrew Hoare said the chip would feature in the company's November catalogue.

"This new chip is really aimed at the high-end enthusiasts, where gaming and Internet performance is a must," Hoare said.

At this stage Optima is focussing its energies on the high-end consumer market, although Hoare believes it will not be long before the chips make their way into the corporate market.

Yaron Schwalb, technical director of Australian outsourcer and integrator Ipex, believes the new chip will pave the way for a dramatic increase in Web-based functionality.

"P4 is best suited to graphic creation for Web, as well as corporate and Web solutions," Schwalb said. "As it becomes increasingly prevalent, it will make a huge difference to technologies like video conferencing."

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