Writes the NYTimes on Intel’s Itanium (its 64-bit processor) in Intel’s Huge Bet Turns Iffy:
Inreasingly, Intel is facing the risk that it has chosen the wrong path to high-performance computing. It may have looked backward as it developed the microchip equivalent of the behemoth computers of the past.
Eric Schmidt, the computer scientist who is chief executive of Google, told a gathering of chip designers at Stanford last month that the computer world might now be headed in a new direction. In his vision of the future, small and inexpensive processors will act as Lego-style building blocks for a new class of vast data centers, which will increasingly displace the old-style mainframe and server computing of the 1980’s and 90’s.
It turns out, Dr. Schmidt told the audience, that what matters most to the computer designers at Google is not speed but power – low power, because data centers can consume as much electricity as a city.