Several other new Core Microarchitecture features act to speed up the processing of Intels SSE multimedia add-on instructions, consolidate multiple smaller instructions to run them as one and to increase the efficiency of accessing system memory, Rattner said. Meanwhile, the company also employed some other design tricks, including one called power gating, which will down parts of a chip that are not needed at a particular instance to save power."Ive been extremely impressed with the work thats going on in the new Core architecture," said Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report, following the Rattner keynote. Its not a derivative of Yonah, Krewell said, referring to the code name for Intels current Core processor family for notebooks. Intels current Core Solo and Core Duo notebook chips are not based on Core Architecture, however, at the moment. Aside from the cache design, "this is a completely redesigned core," Krewell said. "Its almost as substantial a change as going from the Pentium III to the Pentium 4." Intel has done its "homework in fine-tuning and crafting every aspect of the chip to increase performance .while in some cases lowering the power." Aside from delivering new chips, Intel is also working on platform-level work to help cut the power consumption of hardware that surrounds its chips, Rattner said. Its also working with software developers to create multithreaded applications that can better take advantage of multicore chips. Intel will move from dual-core or two-processor-inside-one-chip designs to quad-core chips in 2007. "The potential for managing power at the platform is great, and its something we need to take the opportunity to improve in all of our systems," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Although chips based on the new Core Microarchitecture are still several months away, at least one industry watcher says Intels heading in the right direction with its new architecture.