There's been a fair amount of debate recently about whether AMD or Intel is winning the ever-present chip arms race.
Based on the experience of this year's Intel Developer Forum (IDF), I'm not sure that Intel can still claim to be in the lead.
As a veteran of these events I'm used to a certain amount of spin. But over the last three days I've heard very little to convince me that Intel still has the upper hand, at least as far as the technology battle goes.
The chip maker has been beaten to the punch on combined 32/64 bit computing, on chip security and now on dual-core processors - and it shows.
After AMD announced last month that it was going dual-core, Intel inevitably fired back that it had plans to go the same way. But AMD looks to have taken the lead, while Intel has been short on detail.
Indeed, that was the theme of this year's IDF event: no-one was talking much.
Certainly there were the usual headline-oriented speeches, but when you try and drill down into specifics Intel's defences were up, and well manned. Even in question and answer sessions presenters pleaded ignorance.
Psychologists use a term called 'cognitive dissonance' to describe the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe and new information or interpretation. And we've seen plenty of it here.
There were titters in the audience as the usually reliable Anand Chandrasekher raved about the graphics capability of the new Sonoma mobile computers while the demonstration screens showed a game playing in what looked close to 1930s stop-motion animation.
Of course, Intel is still the 800lb gorilla in the chip market, and its research and development budget is more than AMD's turnover. But you'd still expect better from the industry leader than Intel delivered at IDF this year.
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