There are hundreds of innovations that Intel is constantly working on in respect to the new products and technologies. However, at this keynote Justin Rattner highlighted only the 5 key ones. Let’s check out what they actually are:
- Intel Wide Dynamic Execution. Intel widened the execution pipeline so that now 4 instructions can be processed within a single clock cycle. As a result, fewer cycles are needed for processing the same amount of instructions and hence less energy is consumed for the same amount of work. They have also enhanced the ability to combine instructions. Now they are talking not only about micro-fusion, when simpler instructions were combined into a single one, but they have also introduced macro-fusion, i.e. when such complex instructions as “compare” and “jump” can be put together into a single instruction.
- Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost. This innovation deals with SSE family of instructions. Now the entire family of SSE instructions will be executed in a single cycle.
- Intel Advanced Smart Cache (L2 cache). They introduced shared cache structure and incorporated the advanced caching algorithms. Now the info will be more efficiently shared between the processors. Even if one CPU is idle at a given moment of time, the other CPU will be able to take the advantage of the entire cache. In other words, there will be no partitioning of the cache space.
- Intel Smart Memory Access. Intel introduced improved pre-fetch algorithms that deliver additional flexibility for ordering loads and stores. These algorithms allow to significantly improve efficient energy distribution and performance.
- Intel Intelligent Power Capability. Here they imply advanced power gating, i.e. they shut down those systems that are not needed for instruction execution.
These key innovations that we have just talked about will find their way into three major platforms: mobile, desktop and server. In the mobile field we will see Merom processor that will deliver 20% higher performance at the same level of power consumption. In the desktop segment we will see Conroe processor with 40% performance increase and simultaneous 40% reduction in power consumption. In the server environment the 5 key innovations will be introduced in the Woodcrest platform that will run 80% faster and require 35% less power.
But besides the innovative technologies, there is one more important feature typical of all these solutions: they are all multi-core.
We see a very clear tendency towards exponential increase of the number of processor cores:
But is Intel going to double the number of processors again in 2008? Probably not. Justin Rattner assured us that they will roll out additional cores as the applications require those.