Intel showed off its upcoming Pentium 4 processor with several graphics-heavy demonstrations, then revved one of its Itanium chips to 2 GHz at the opening keynote of the Intel Developer Forum yesterday.

During a demonstration to show the power of the P4, Albert Yu, senior vice president and general manager for the Intel architecture group, giggled merrily as he tapped his fingers on a touch-screen monitor that displayed a virtual pool of water.

The resulting ripples looked amazingly real, thanks in part to the P4's capabilities, he said.

The P4, which is due to launch before Christmas running at speeds of 1.4-GHz and 1.5-GHz is also adept at handling other multimedia and Internet tasks, he said.

Always keen to come up with applications to justify the continual acceleration in processor speeds, Yu also demonstrated a P4-based system's capability to quickly encode video from a camera to a PC.