Electronic Design

Microarchitecture Saves Energy While Boosting Performance

More performance for less power—that’s the goal of Intel’s Core microarchitecture. Based on the company’s advanced 65-nm process technology, the Core’s improvements over Pentium processors should enable more stylish, quieter, and smaller mobile computers and servers that need less energy and space while offering more security, virtualization, and manageability.

The Core’s Wide Dynamic Execution provides more instructions per clock cycle, improving execution and energy efficiency. The wider execution cores can complete up to four full instructions simultaneously using an efficient 14-stage pipeline.

By intelligently powering up individual logic subsystems only when required, the Core’s Intelligent Power Capability features further reduce power consumption. The Advanced Smart Cache’s shared L2 cache reduces power by minimizing memory traffic. It also boosts performance by enabling one core to use the entire cache when the other core is idle. The Smart Memory Access feature increases system performance by hiding memory latency, optimizing the use of data bandwidth out to the memory subsystem. And, the Core’s Advanced Digital Media Boost effectively doubles the execution speed for many 128-bit SSE, SSE2, and SSE3 instructions that execute in only one cycle.

During a recent Intel Developer Forum, the microarchitecture boosted the performance of a Conroe desktop processor by 40 percent while decreasing power by 40 percent, compared to the company’s Pentium D 950 processor. Intel expects to start shipping dual-core processors based on the Core microarchitecture in the third quarter of 2006 and quad-core processors in 2007.

These processors should lead to sleeker, quieter home computer and entertainment systems with more punch without hitting the energy bill hard. Businesses will be able to reduce space, cooling, and energy requirements while increasing productivity. And, mobile users will enjoy more features without worrying about draining their batteries too quickly.

Intel Corp.

TAGS: Mobile Intel
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