Russians claim lead in microchip race

A group of Russian computer engineers claim to have developed a microprocessor that's several times faster than Intel's upcoming Itanium chip.

The so-called E2K chip is said to be based on a type of parallel processing that breaks down tasks, a method widely used in Russian defense computers.

Elbrus International, which also does software work for Sun Microsystems, has reportedly run simulations on the chip's design and currently is searching for $60 million in funding to finish engineering and to develop prototype chips.

Engineers say if all goes well, the chip could be in production within three years.

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