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Unleashing the Internet Experience

In his keynote presentation Anand Chandrasekher, Senior Vice President of Intel Ultra Mobility Group touched upon a very acute topic. These days the amounts of data transferred back and forth and access at a given moment of time keeps growing. Data will consume bandwidth and the killer application for data is Internet. So, it is extremely important to be able to unleash the internet experience and he was going to talk about what it takes to make that happen.

The picture below shows the growth of internet traffic over time:

And the remarkable thing is that according to recent studies, 25% of traffic is contributed to by social networking. That’s a staggering number. There are about a billion subscribers to social networking sites at this time. That’s 1/6 of the world’s population. 154 million people are online daily. 3 billion minutes per day is being spent on social networks.

Yes, it is obviously a fantastic business potential. But Intel claims that it is all being done on PCs: over 95% of this action is happening on PCs. Why so? – Tom Conrad, the CTO of Pandora put it very nicely: “In general the whole mobile space is a mess. The whole mobile development thing feels like 1984”. The handheld mobile experience today is not that great. You don’t get adequate performance from you mobile devices, they are not compatible with certain applications. And even though there are numerous mobile handsets today that claim internet options support do not make up for that drawback. Take a look at the chart below, and you will see that these features are hardly used at all:

So what’s needed to be able to unleash internet?

  1. Software compatibility. For the developer it is important because they need to be able to run applications anywhere. For the user - so that they could get accustomed to the same software for all needs.
  2. Performance.
  3. Always stay connected.

Let’s see what Intel is offering to do about it.

Menlow Platform and Silverthorne

Their innovation imperatives are simple: without sacrificing performance and compatibility to deliver low thermals, lower power and small form-factor design. Menlow platform based on Silverthorne CPU is implementation of these objectives.

In 2005 Intel promised to lower the power by 10X by 2010. However, as we have already mentioned before they are two years ahead of schedule delivering on the promise of 10X power reduction and compatibility. To prove it we were offered a demonstration. A system was running Silverthorne 2008 architecture. On the screenshot you see the top reference line is the power consumption of Dothan processor, while the bottom line is the 10X smaller target value.

The green line is the power consumption of the Silverthorne processor, as you can see the goal is achieved!

Next they run power virus routine in order to increase the workload, but as we see Silverthorne’s power consumption is still below the red line.

At last they run a standard flash application on both: Dothan (blue) and Silverthorne (green). As you see, the latter is still low, even lower:

So, although Intel has obviously hit the target, their job is not completely done yet.

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