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Intel Bullish On Tech Direction

NEW YORK — Sounding anything other than a company that has had its share of missteps in recent months, outgoing Intel chief executive Craig Barrett expressed confidence and even a bit of cockiness at the company's fall analysts' conference here on Tuesday (Dec. 7), predicting Intel's technology strengths would distance the semiconductor giant from its competitors.

Barrett said Intel has the upper hand in producing the most sophisticated chips and none of its competitors are capable of catching up. He claimed power consumption is the clear competitive advantage, showing curves of transistor leakage versus drive current for the company's 90- and 65-nm products.

"Based on published papers from our competitors we know that our 90- and 65-nm process technologies are clearly ahead of them," Barrett said.

Barrett went so far as to predict that CMOS scaling will continue comfortably for the next 15 years, but it won't be the normal tweaks that will enable each new generation. Instead, careful attention must be paid to achieving the optimum price/performance/watt combination.

"Our dual-core strategy answers that criterion," Barrett said. "The company is on a roll to get dual-core and multi-core chips out the door next year in each of its three chip markets: desktop, servers and mobile."

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