On June 8, 1994, an announcement was issued regarding an exciting new alliance in the computer industry. Intel and HP have entered into a joint R&D program to collaborate in several areas. The programís intent is the development of technology which sets a new industry standard for performance. This effort, which involves collaboration on 64-bit microprocessor design, advanced compiler optimization techniques as well as advanced high performance integrated circuit (I.C.) process techniques will enable the resultant state of the art technology to be manufactured in an efficient and cost-effective manner. All of these elements are planned to come together to produce industry-leading performance by the end of the decade, well positioned for the demands of new classes of applications. Some of these applications can be characterized by new levels of interactivity in areas such as user interface-enriched multimedia communication, virtual reality, low cost collaborative computer-based communication and other exciting areas as yet unimagined. And of course, it is naturally assumed that todayís applications will achieve unsurpassed levels of performance when executed on systems based upon this new technology.
One element common to all technologies being evaluated is full binary compatibility with both HP PA-RISC and Intel processor families. This compatibility is a fundamental element of investment protection for customers with systems based upon both current and future processor families, and is an essential element of the collaboration. This new technology will utilize techniques that enable new standards of performance. Several concepts and techniques are under consideration, all of them leading to these incomparable levels of performance. More details will be available as the collaboration proceeds.
HP and Intel have each published their plans to enhance their current processor families. The companies have reaffirmed their commitment to continue with those planned, fully compatible enhancements, and these plans are furthermore expected to benefit from the companiesí collaboration. This means that increasingly higher levels of performance will be achieved by HP PA-RISC and Intel processors and that these will then be further propelled upwards at a later date with the jointly developed, fully binary compatible technology. Therefore, the progression of processor technology from each company will reach new and higher performance levels throughout the remainder of this decade.
But why are leading companies such as HP and Intel forming this partnership? The magic of this new industry alliance is the highly complementary nature of the skills each partner brings to this joint endeavor.
Intel is recognized around the world as the developer and supplier of the processors which power an installed base estimated at over 150 million personal computers.
Intelís leadership has been achieved based upon many areas of expertise, two of which are their leading-edge design tools plus their world renowned high-volume I.C. process. Intel has an impressive track record of continuing to develop and deliver exciting new processors at an ever-increasing rate. This would not be possible without their tremendous expertise in processor design tools and this skill significantly benefits the alliance. Furthermore, Intelís highvolume I.C. process assures that the technology developed through this alliance will be available to system developers at unprecedented price/performance levels that will significantly challenge the rest of the industry.
HP is recognized as a world leader in RISC processor design and implementation. HPís PA-RISC-based systems have set the industry standard for nearly a decade. PA-RISC focuses on the performance requirements of a broad set of applications and it is through this continued focus that PA-RISC has gained the reputation as the industryís "Application-Driven Architecture". This leadership is realized through HPís expertise in processor design techniques and in the critical areas of compiler technology and advanced highperformance I.C. processes. RISC architectures are heavily dependent upon sophisticated compilers to reach their peak performance potential, and HPís compilers enable PA-RISC to lead the industry in performance. PA-RISCís performance is further enhanced by high-speed I.C. processes. HP engineers enhance this collaborative effort with Intel by sharing their expertise in extracting superior performance from all these technologies.
Customers of systems based upon both PA-RISC and Intel processors can now anticipate future, fully binary compatible systems, with levels of performance unparalleled in the industry. Therefore customers can continue to purchase todayís systems based upon PA-RISC and Intel processors knowing that they will enjoy a seamless movement to exciting future systems based upon this new, performance breakthrough technology. The full significance of this rests in the assurance that their applications and data will operate without modification on future systems attaining unprecedented performance. In addition, this binary compatibility further ensures that systems built around this new technology can enjoy the broadest set of application software ever. This set of applications spans the range from productivity applications to design applications to enterprise-wide, missioncritical applications. This yields new systems with a set of supported applications greater than ever seen prior to the availability of this new technology.
In conclusion, customers of systems based upon both PA-RISC and Intel processors can now anticipate future systems with full binary compatibility and levels of performance unsurpassed in the industry. This direction setting event provides a unified computing infrastructure that accomplishes three fundamental goals: preserves current customer investments, readies corporate customers for the next century with 64-bit, high-performance solutions and offers high-volume cost models. More details will be provided as the joint efforts get fully underway.