2005: Stormy Year for Desktop CPUs


When we look back on 2005, it's easy to declare trends: "The Year of Dual Core" or "The Year of 64-Bit." It was all those, and more. By the same token, not all that much new arrived on the scene. Sure, AMD and Intel managed to ship dual-core processors for mainstream desktop systems, but neither offered much new architecturally. Intel finally shipped its version of x86-64, dubbed EM64T. Although less efficient in subtle ways at 64-bit processing than AMD's 64-bit architecture, EM64T gets the job done.

What was striking about 2005 was what didn't happen. Intel didn't ship a 5GHz CPU—or even a 4GHz CPU. AMD didn't snag Dell as a customer (unless you count the Dell online store selling boxed Athlon 64 CPUs). Intel cancelled Tejas, the successor to Prescott. Transmeta isn't a CPU company any longer, but is now an IP (as in "intellectual property") company. And VIA's Centaur group shipped new processors that didn't get much attention. ...[more]