The 64-bit Chips

Fortune writes about Intel’s Itanium and how it promises to redraw the computing landscape. So far, Itanium, Intel’s 64-bit CPU, is off to a slow start for a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t in any way take away from its impact in the coming years. Remember the last major shift? Fortune’s article reminds us.

Intel’s last major architectural change, from 16-bit to 32-bit processors, occurred in 1985, when it introduced Pentium’s granddaddy, the 386 chip. It gave PC makers the power they needed to complete their conquest of the desktop and usurp the hold of minicomputers on office computing. It also cemented Intel’s dominance of microprocessors. An investor who spent $25,000 on Intel stock back then would today have nearly 30 times that in his pocket–a compound annual return of about 22%.


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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.