Intel: There's a Multi-Function Chip in Your Future

Tech companies use trade shows to hawk products to customers and the press. But technical conferences are where some of the most intense trash-talking happens, disguised in arcane papers that let engineers boast about their prowess to peers from competing companies.

Intel’s (INTC) latest papers at the annual International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which starts Sunday in San Francisco, are a case in point. The company is using the event to show off new details of the inner workings of some previously discussed chips, including an eight-processor version of a product called Nehalem that Intel plans to begin selling for use in server systems later this year.

But Intel’s broader point is that miniaturization is reaching a point that many new kinds of functions can economically be squeezed on individual pieces of silicon, creating new opportunities to sell what the industry calls systems on a chip, or SOCs.

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