Intel Ramps Up R&D: All Time High

March 20, 2002 | Source: MSNBC

Optimistic about an economy rebound, Intel has ramped up R&D spending to an all time high of $4.1 billion.CEO Craig Barrett says that Intel is focusing on its “core competency” — selling microchips and extending the life of silicon technology. Moore’s Law “is good for another 15 years,” Barrett contends.

At the February Intel Developer’s Forum in San Francisco, the company announced its newest Pentium 4, code-named Prescott, that will double a PC’s current speed through a technology called hyperthreading. The advance allows one chip to work on two tasks at the same time.

Intel also recently announced it had experimentally demonstrated a 10GHz microchip. Such a processor would be more than four times faster than today’s 2.2GHz microchips. The trick: shrinking the space between components in a solid-state transistor — an area known as the “physical gate length.”

While current chips have a quarter of a million transistors on them, Senior Vice President Sunlin Chou says, “We’re now talking about chips that can have more than a billion transistors.”