Electronic Design

Dual-Core Chips Boost Performance, Save Power

Intel revamped its line last week with 10 Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors for consumer and business desktop and laptop PCs and workstations. According to the company, these dual-core desktop processors offer 40% better performance and energy efficiency over their predecessors. Several features make these improvements possible.

With the processors’ wide dynamic execution, each core can complete up to four instructions simultaneously using an efficient 14-stage pipeline. Their smart memory access improves system performance by hiding memory latency, optimizing the use of available computer data bandwidth to provide data where and when it’s needed.

Also, the chips’ advanced smart cache includes a shared L2 cache or memory reservoir to reduce power by minimizing memory “traffic” yet boosts performance by allowing one core to use the entire cache while the other core is idle. Their advanced digital media boost doubles the execution speed for instructions used in multimedia and graphics applications. And, Intel’s 64 technology supports 64-bit computing, enabling the processor to access larger amounts of memory.

The five Core 2 Duo processors targeting mobile applications offer some additional features. Their dynamic power coordination coordinates the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology and idle power-management state transitions independently per core to save power. The dynamic bus parking lets the chip set power down in low-frequency mode, saving power and improving battery life. In addition, the Enhanced Intel Deeper Sleep with Dynamic Cache Sizing flushes cache data to system memory during inactive periods to lower CPU voltage and save power.

Initial Core 2 Extreme processor-based systems are now available. Intel Core 2 Duo desktop processor-based systems will be available in early August. Core 2 Duo processor-based notebooks will be available at the end of August. Prices will range from $183 for the 1.86-GHz, 2-Mbyte E6300 Core 2 Duo to $999 for the 2.93-GHz, 4-Mbyte X6800 Core 2 Extreme.

Intel Corp.

TAGS: Mobile Intel
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