Intel's Skunkworks Plan B
from the fallback dept
The San Jose Mercury News is running an article about a secret project at Intel to extend the x86 architecture to 64 bits. Intel is probably hoping they'll never need to use this new technology. However, it depends on how well AMD does with their 64-bit chips and how well Intel's other 64-bit technology, Itanium, is doing. It seems some Intel engineers started working on the secret project when they realized what AMD was doing (building on older technology), and believed they could also build on the x86 architecture. This project has upset the Itanium team, but apparently, Intel upper management decided to let the engineers push ahead - with the hope that it will never be needed. Of course, Intel refused to comment in any way for the story.