Intel Exec Sees 64-Bit Irrelevant for Home PCs Now

A top Intel executive said 64-bit technology, which gives computers greater memory capacity and more powerful data crunching abilities, would not become relevant to home PC users until sometime in 2006, later than anticipated by Intel's rival, AMD. William Siu, the general manager in charge of Intel's desktop computer chips business, made the comments on Wednesday in an interview with Reuters, a day after Intel reversed course and endorsed 64-bit computing for its entire line of business computer chips. Siu, however, did not say that Intel would necessarily wait until 2006 to introduce the feature into its desktop computer chips. Intel has held that it will offer the feature when it determines that an "ecosystem" of operating systems and software to support the feature has developed.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp.'s far-smaller competitor, has taken a sharply different approach by offering 64-bit chips for both business and home computer users. AMD has pitched the feature as the next logical step in computing and one that some home computer users were demanding today for playing video games and editing movies and home videos. While that subset of "enthusiast" users is relatively small, their decisions have disproportionate influence on the purchasing decisions of mainstream users, AMD has said. Intel's Siu said it did not yet make sense to introduce 64-bit computing for home users, long before supporting software -- including Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Windows operating system, expected at the end of 2005 or early 2006 -- becomes widely available.

News source: Reuters

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