“Intel, which next week is expected to announce plans to move to a new processor architecture, is switching to a new yardstick to measure processor performance: performance per watt,” John G. Spooner reports for eWeek. “Intel Corp. is expected to detail next week at its IDF (Intel Developer Forum) a plan to begin building multicore chips with the architecture, a modified version of the circuitry behind its Pentium M notebook processor, during 2006.”
“Intel’s announcement will publicly signal an internal shift that’s already taken place. After years of promoting clock speed, it’s now emphasizing overall performance and power-efficiency,” Spooner reports. :”Intel’s shift to processor numbers and its wholesale move to multicore processors—a multicore chip includes pack two or more processor cores in one package—sealed the deal for the architectural change, as power can be a limiting factor in fitting two or more processor cores together into a single chip.”
“Chips with multiple processor cores boost PC performance versus single-core chips by splitting up jobs. ‘It’s not even so much even performance per watt as it is fitting higher performance computing into more constrained environments, either constrained by power, by [heat] or by noise or size,’ said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research Inc. Particularly for desktop PCs, ‘It’s all about attaining the maximum performance you can in an environment that, unlike in desktops of the past, now has some constraints on it. As you move to multiple-core devices, scaling the frequency higher isn’t as important as the ability to put multiple cores on a chip, anyway.’ Thus the performance-per-watt plan was born and Intel’s Israel-based processor design team, which created the Pentium M, using Intel’s P6 architecture a base, appears to have gotten the job,” Spooner reports.
Much more in the full article here.
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