Intel Gets to Core in Competition With AMD

Intel used its Developer Forum event in San Francisco this week to debut new computer chip technology that the company said boasts energy efficiency alongside performance gains.

Intel unveiled a quad-core processor configuration that some have referred to as a processor with two dual cores. The firm also highlighted its new Core microarchitecture, aimed at delivering scalable performance along with the energy savings.

The chipmaker stressed that power savings and longer battery life would be front and center with all offerings its in latest line of processors, due out now through the end of 2006.

Hardware Core

Intel said Core would enhance computing in the home, at work and on the road, with low noise, low power and low heat, all with better performance. Not only will it save space and energy, but it will also free up power for security, virtualization and more.

“[Core] will fuel new dual-core processors and quad-core processors in 2007 that we expect will deliver industry-leading performance and capabilities per watt,” said Intel Senior Fellow and CTO Justin Rattner. “People will see systems that can be faster, smaller and quieter with longer battery life and lower electric bills.”

Building upon its previous Mobile Pentium M microarchitecture and Pentium 4 technologies, including data pathways and streaming instructions, Intel said the new Core chips would be built with 65nm manufacturing.

Other features of the new Core technology from Intel included Wide Dynamic Execution, an increase of instructions per clock cycle for better execution and efficiency; and Advanced Smart Cache, which cuts power use by minimizing memory traffic and allowing a processor core to utilize the entire L2 cache when another core on the processor is idle.

Less and More

Also at IDF, Intel rolled out a set of three new chips for dual-core processor servers and workstations for the enterprise. The first is “Sossaman,” a low-power processor shipping next week for server blades, storage devices and telecommunications equipment. Second, “Dempsey” is to ship by the end of the month as the first chip for a new Xeon-based platform codenamed “Bensley,” another low-watt hopeful, Intel said.

The chip giant will update Bensley in the third quarter of this year with the “Woodcrest” server processor, reducing power use another 35 percent while boosting performance by 80 percent, Intel promised.

Intel showed off the world’s first running quad-core processor as well, codenamed “Clovertown.” Set to ship in early 2007, the processor will be good for multithreaded applications such as databases, financial services and supply-chain management.

Counting Cores

Among the company’s several significant announcements, the capability that Intel’s new microarchitecture has of increasing performance while cutting power use was arguably the most impressive, according to Endpoint Technologies Associates Founder and President Roger Kay.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices has made some market gains in a number of PC market segments recently, and Intel is now flexing its muscles in the face of AMD’s gains, Kay said.

“This changes the game and puts AMD on notice that Intel is not going to take it lying down,” he told TechNewsWorld.

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