Intel announced a major breakthrough in microprocessor design Friday that will allow it to keep on the curve of Moore's Law a while longer. IBM, working with AMD, rushed out a press release announcing essentially equivalent advances. Both companies said they will be using alloys of hafnium as insulating layers, replacing the silicon dioxide that has been used for more than 40 years. The New York Times story (and coverage from the AP and others) features he-said, she-said commentary from dueling analysts. If there is a consensus, it's that Intel is 6 or more months ahead for the next generation. IBM vigorously disputes this, saying that they and AMD are simply working in a different part of the processor market — concentrating on the high-end server space, as opposed to the portable, low-power end.
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