IDF: Inside Nehalem

Nehalem is the codename for Intel's next generation Core microarchitecture--which has recently been given the official processor family name of "Core i7."  Nehalem was one of the big topics of discussion at IDF--and not just because it represents the next generation of Intel's processors, but also because the clock is winding down quickly on when the chip will make its official, public debut. An official date has not been given yet, but Intel is promising that we'll see Nehalem systems for sale sometime in Q4 of this year.    This article represents the culmination of several IDF...

IDF Day 2: Renee James: "Developing for the Future of Computing"

In the final IDF keynote address on Wednesday, Vice President and General Manager for Software and Solutions at Intel, Renee James, spoke about the "digital revolution" and what sort of opportunities the recent advances in Intel technology will enable.       Just as the Pentium processor helped shepherd in multimedia on the PC, multi-core processors are opening the door further for HD and 3D worlds on computers. James stated that all of Intel's platforms will be multi-core by 2010.    As an example of the kind of real-world, immersive environment recent processor improvements...

IDF Day 2: Eric Kim: "We Love TV"

Eric Kim really loves TV. If he ever decides to step down as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Digital Home Group, he might have a future as a game show host. At least he had fun channeling one as he donned a bright red jacket and asked panelists some media-based trivia questions to prove a point:    Question #1: What percentage of 2008 Superbowl viewers used a notebook or cellphone to surf the Internet while watching the game? Question #2: How many viewers cast votes in this year's American Idol finale? Question #3: How many buttons were on the first wireless...

IDF Day 2: Anand Chandrasekher: "MIDs: Platform for Innovation"

Day two of IDF kicked off with a cheesy, classic Star Trek opening-credits rip-off that concluded with the statement: "The Internet, to boldly go where it has never gone before: in your pocket." Then it was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, Anand Chandrasekher's turn to present his keynote on the state of today's and tomorrow's MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices).       Chandrasekher says that in June, the number of people who used the Internet was roughly equal to three times the population of the U.S. Chandrasekher also said that we are...

IDF Day 1: David Perlmutter: "Where Will 'On-the-Go' Go?"

David Perlmutter (Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobility Group) delivered the final keynote of the first day of IDF. Perlmutter started out by declaring that notebook shipments are about to surpass desktop shipments. He predicts that within the next 10 years, Intel will be shipping over one billion Intel Architecture-based (IA) mobile devices per year. As to the growth of the mobile platform, Intel had only 35 notebook design offerings in 2002. In 2008, there are 244.       Perlmutter stated that the first notebooks were heavy, slow performers, and had poor...

IDF Day 1: Pat Gelsinger Keynote: Embedded + Dynamic + Visual

While Craig Barrett delivered a rather non-technical, but socially-charged keynote earlier in the day, Pat Gelsinger's (Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Enterprise Group) keynote address by contrast was all about the tech.Gelsinger envisions tomorrow's Internet as fully pervasive. The Internet will touch any device that communicates. As processors continue to become increasingly power efficient and faster, they will become more scalable and will be utilized in more products and platforms--including those that perhaps we are not used to thinking as traditionally Internet...

IDF Day 1: Craig Barrett Keynote: "Inspiring Innovation"

Craig Barrett highlights social responsibility as the key to technology innovationThis year's IDF kicked off in typical fashion with Pat Gelsinger, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Enterprise Group, taking the stage and giving a brief overview of what the event has to offer over the course of the next three days, including highlighting key speakers (the Woz on Thursday!), contributors, and sponsors.       Gelsinger equated the childhood book series Where's Waldo with trying to figure out where in the world Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett might be at...

VIA Nano L2100 vs. Intel Atom 230: Head to Head

VIA caused quite a stir a few months ago when the company first revealed initial details regarding their low-power Nano processor. At the time, the product was referred to by its internal codename of Isaiah.  In addition, the President of VIA's design center that was tasked with making the processor, was decidedly outspoken, which made for some exciting reporting.When news of the Isaiah core first broke, we hopped on the phone with Glenn Henry, VIA's Centaur design center president, and got many questions answered regarding the processor's architecture, features, expected performance,...

AMD Phenom X4 9350e and 9950 BE Debut

AMD is launching a three-pronged attack on the desktop CPU space today, with the introduction of three new quad-core Phenom X4 processors.  One of the processors, the new Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition, is AMD's latest flagship desktop CPU.  The other two, however, are somewhat surprisingly "green", low-power quad-cores dubbed the Phenom X4 9350e and Phenom X4 9150e.With its Black Edition branding, it should be obvious to the power user among you that the Phenom X4 9950 BE is targeted squarely at enthusiasts and overclockers.  But the audience for the Phenom X4 9350e and Phenom X4...

NVIDIA Editor's Day: The Re-Introduction of Tesla

When you visit NVIDIA’s Web site and hit the Products drop-down menu, a long list of the company’s offerings scrolls down in front of you—impressive for an organization that originally found notoriety by designing the fastest desktop display adapters.Graphics processors for the desktop, workstation, and server space still dominate NVIDIA’s portfolio. But it’s also involved in notebooks, handhelds, software development, and more recently, high-performance computing.For the uninitiated, high-performance computing (or HPC) has historically involved leveraging large clusters, which are used to crunch...

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200, Eco-Friendly Performance

It has been surprising and frankly somewhat satisfying to see the success to date of the "Wolfdale" core architecture in Intel’s Core 2 lineup of processors. "Wolfdale" is Intel’s first 45nm based dual-core design, and is an interesting product beyond first glance. When it was first announced, there was a bit of doubt throughout the industry of the chip’s viability in the market. The doubt was that it would be foolish of Intel put major weight behind a dual-core processor architecture, as the future is clearly quad-core processors and beyond. More cores are always better,...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Processor

Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9300 has some rather large shoes to fill. This newly shipping, relatively low-cost (~$270) quad-core processor from Intel is a replacement for their long-standing price to performance champ, the Core 2 Quad Q6600. The Q6600 was the first quad-core in Intel’s arsenal which was actually affordable, and even today, it remains one of the best values on the market. Not only is the Core 2 Quad Q6600 inexpensive for a quad-core at around $230, but it is extremely overclockable and provides a significant amount of computing power for the dollar. Core 2 Quad Q6600’s...

AMD Phenom X3 8750 Tri-Core Processor

When AMD first announced plans to introduce triple-core processors back in September of last year, reaction to the news was mixed.  Some felt that AMD was simply planning to pass off partially functional Phenom X4 processors as triple-core products, making lemonade from lemons if you will.  Others thought it was a good way for AMD to increase bottom line profits, getting more usable die from a single silicon wafer and mitigating yield loss.  We were somewhat perplexed by the first reaction.  This is an age-old strategy in the semiconductor space and after...

Intel's Ultra-Portable Atom: Unveiled

Do you remember the original Pentium 4? It launched at 1.5 GHz and gave us our first bittersweet taste of the NetBurst microarchitecture, which Intel would use to replace the P6 design.When the Pentium 4 began its life, Intel manufactured the chips on a 180 nm node. The 42 million transistors that went into those first Pentium 4s - internally referred to as Willamettes - occupied a die no less than 217 square millimeters. Keep those figures in mind throughout our overview of Intel’s newest mobile processor and platform. And don’t feel too old; eight years seems like a lifetime, when you’re talking...

AMD Phenom X4 9850 B3 Revision

  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that AMD's initial Phenom processor launch didn't go exactly as planned.  The first batch of retail-ready Phenom processors were clocked lower than expectations and in the days leading up to the launch, the now infamous TLB bug reared its ugly head.  If you're not aware, all initial Phenom and Opteron quad-core processors based on the Barcelona architecture were plagued by an errata that could cause a system crash under certain circumstances.  The errata involves the processor's translation lookaside buffer or "TLB" and L3 cache. ...

Intel and Microsoft Fund Multi-Threading Research

It's no secret that the days of procuring performance exclusively through faster clock speeds are over. The current crop of multi-core server, desktop, and mobile CPU designs are a dead giveaway that processor vendors like Intel are instead looking to increased parallelism as the facilitator of more computing horsepower. The problem, according to David Patterson, professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, becomes one of scheduling and balancing workloads across multiple sets of processing resources, so that you can truly get more performance out of those threaded designs. If an application is...

Intel Showcases Dunnington, Nehalem and Larrabee Processors

In an impromptu pre-IDF press briefing today, Intel disclosed a wealth of new information regarding its roadmap product efforts, upcoming multi-core processors and their associated platforms.  The discussion, chaired by the Senior VP of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, Pat Gelsinger, even covered additional detail of the company's future play in the discrete GPU space, code-named Larrabee.  Pat dove in quickly with what was probably Intel's most ambitious design effort yet, that will bear fruit some time in 2H '08, the new six-core infused...

AMD 780G Chipset and Athlon X2 4850e Preview

We generally don’t use integrated graphics. You might not use integrated graphics. But there are more motherboards with integrated graphics sold than discrete cards, according to data published last year by Jon Peddie Research. That means you probably have friends and family buying systems with built-in graphics engines. Guess what happens when the work day is done and you take them into battle with you through a little Enemy Territory or Company of Heroes?  Poor performance likely gets them killed over and over. Talk about a real bummer. We're WoW junkies ourselves, and you...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale CPU

Intel fans have been patiently waiting for the company to release their lineup of refreshed Core 2 Duo and Quad products. Intel started hyping these revised components late last year, and they were expected to hit the market in January of this year. While Intel technically hit that date with the release of one 45nm component, it was the ultra-expensive Core 2 Extreme QX9650, which sells for over $1,000. Not really the type of component that everyone can get their hands on. Nevertheless, the current generation of 65nm Core 2 products continued to fall in price, and with no real competition...

Intel Skulltrail Unleashed: Core 2 Extreme QX9775 x 2

  Intel started slowly leaking information about an ultra high-end enthusiast platform dubbed Skulltrail at right about the same time that AMD’s now defunct QuadFX platform was set to be released.  Over time we learned that Skulltrail, like QuadFX, would be a dual-socket platform that could accommodate a pair of Intel’s fastest quad-core processors, for a grand total of eight execution cores in one desktop system.  But other details regarding the platform were somewhat scarce to say the least. As time progressed, however, Intel was more and more forthright with information regarding...

VIA's Glenn Henry Speaks On New Low Power Isaiah Processor

With all the buzz around VIA's recent announcement of their next generation low power Isaiah mobile processor and the parade of online coverage of the recent press event VIA held at their Centaur design center in Texas, we felt rather than regurgitating the usual marketing fluff and press pitch material, we would get together with some of VIA's top architecture and design brass in a "fireside chat" sort of venue. The idea was to provide a little more insight into what the team at VIA feels will be the real value proposition of their ultra low power Isaiah mobile X86 processor and how...

AMD Spider Platform - Phenom, 790FX, RV670

  A few days ago, AMD officially unveiled their RV670 GPU, the chip at the heart of the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series of graphics cards.  Just in case you missed it on the day of the launch, our coverage of the new Radeon HD 3870 and HD 3850 cards is available right here.  While we did thoroughly explain the RV670’s architecture and explored its performance in that article, we did not tell you that the new Radeon HD 3800 series is but one part of an entirely new platform from AMD dubbed “Spider”.The rest of the Spider platform is comprised of not only new desktop processors, but core...

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