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Intel to put 64 bits in desktops in 2005

Intel once said desktop buyers wouldn't really need 64-bit capabilities until toward the end of the decade, but the company will make such capabilities a feature across its desktop lines next year.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker disclosed at its analyst meeting in New York that it will include 64-bit functionality on its desktop chips starting in 2005, a schedule that roughly coincides with the release of a 64-bit version of Windows for desktops coming next year. The functionality will appear even in the budget Celeron line.

The plan marks a definite acceleration for Intel. In February, company executives indicated that 64-bit chips for client computers--which will be able to access more data through a larger pool of memory than today's chips--wouldn't likely come until Microsoft releases Longhorn, a future version of Windows now due at the end of 2006. At the time, CEO Craig Barrett identified when 64-bit chips (based around the familiar Intel x86 architecture) would hit for servers and workstations but said the company didn't have plans to come out with similar chips for standard desktops in the near future.

News source: C|Net News.com

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