Intel has tipped a few near-future plans regarding its desktop computer chips.
The company has been working on speech-to-text conversion, particularly in China, where keyboards are hard to use. It plans to add speech recognition instructions to its Pentium 4 processors in 2004. Later, the company hopes to add visual lip-reading capabilities to bring speech recognition accuracies from the 90% to 95% range to virtually 100% (Intelís future chip sets to boost speech recognition - Washington Post). Intel has indicated that this will require a processor running at 10 GHz or better.
A 5-GHz Pentium 4 in 2004
The company has also let it be known that it will deliver a 5 GHz microprocessor chip next year (2004).
Ultimately, the company would like to sell language translators.
There should be quite a market for accurate speech-to-text translators once they arrive.
It would seem that there are major hardware improvements that can be made in the speech recognition area that will lead to major improvements in speech recognition accuracy.
Intel Will Reach the 32-Nanometer Node by 2009
This is something that I had supposed, but haven't previously seen confirmed.
Silicon Has At Least Another Decade of Useful Life Left In It
Intel's CEO, Craig Barrett, stated this week at the Intel Developer's Forum, that silicon has another decade or two of life left in it. This is an amazing prediction, considering how far silicon has come already.
Intel Doesn't Plan a 64-Bit Desktop Chip Before 2008 or 2009
Intel argues that 64-bit processors will only be needed for memories greater than 4 gigabytes, and even then, other addressing schemes can access larger memories. However, AMD is delivering its 64-bit "Sledgehammer" in the second half of this year. "Sledgehammer" will be 25% to 30% faster than a comparably clocked 32-bit microprocessor, and will be able to access a sea of RAM. If "Sledgehammer" is a success, Intel may have to respond in kind.