CES is not exactly a chip-maker's show, since chips look sort of lame next to flashy cell phones and 100-inch plasma televisions.
Still, Intel and AMD both plan to descend on the desert this week and each company is making some news. Intel has more than a dozen new chips to announce, and AMD has a new logo.
First off, Intel plans to unveil 16 chips on Monday, the same day CEO Paul Otellini delivers an afternoon keynote address at The Venetian Hotel. The five Penryn-class Core 2 Duo notebook processors are probably the highlight, the first of Intel's notebook chips to use the company's 45-nanometer manufacturing technology.
The notebook chips are available immediately, setting the stage for next week's Macworld, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to unveil one or more Macbooks based on Intel's chips. The rest of the new processors are for servers and desktops; the server chips are available immediately, while desktop chips will follow later. Intel is closing in on shipment totals of 1 million 45-nanometer chips after launching its first such processors last November.
Otellini is expected to focus more on , which represent some of the company's most ambitious goals for the rest of the decade. Intel has spent a lot of time talking about its desire to get inside of future mobile computers, and it will probably highlight upcoming MIDs based on its Silverthorne processor during the keynote.
AMD has much less to say, given that right now, its priorities center on fixing its Barcelona and Phenom processors and getting those ready for prime time. Still, the company plans to discuss its upcoming Puma notebook platform during the show.
Turion Ultra is going to be the processor brand delivered with the Puma platform, which will also incorporate ATI Mobility Radeon graphics chipsets from AMD's graphics division, said Bahr Mahony, director of mobile business for AMD.
One interesting feature on certain Turion Ultra notebooks will be the ability to turn the discrete graphics on or off, depending on the need for graphics performance or battery life. Some of the platforms will include the Mobilty Radeon HD 3400 graphics chipset, which can toggle between the two modes.