Intel plans to take its fastest Xeon 2Ghz processor to Hollywood this week, in a bid to grab business from struggling computer graphics firm SGI.
The company confirmed that it would demonstrate the high-end chip in single and dual processor workstations at the Siggraph computer graphics show in Los Angeles. Dell Computer, Hewlett Packard and IBM are also expected to demonstrate new Xeon-based systems.
An Intel spokesman said the demonstration is an attempt to reach some of Hollywood's digital media and entertainment customers, which have previously been customers of SGI and others.
Intel would like to persuade movie studios to go for workstations based on its chips which Intel said are available from a greater choice of vendors, including Compaq, Dell and IBM.
SGI, which continues to get weaker in some markets, is still well known in Hollywood where its machines are popular for computer animation.
But SGI confirmed last month that it would slim down after orders failed to meet expectations. Chief financial officer Jeff Zellmer said the company would scale back services and manufacturing.
Kevin Krewell, an analyst at Micro-Design Resources, pointed out that SGI is transitioning from its MIPS-based architecture to Intel-based processors. "SGI is a major supporter of Intel's Itanium and Xeon processors. So the 2Ghz Xeon should be good for SGI - if it survives."
The 2Ghz Xeon is based on Intel's Netburst architecture, the same design used in the Pentium 4. The Xeon is available in speeds of 1.4Ghz, 1.5Ghz and 1.7Ghz. Intel announced the chip for workstations in May and expects to unveil server versions later in the year.
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