Intel Unveils New Micro-Architecture Details

Intel’s Next-Gen Micro-Architecture Is Called “Core”

by Anton Shilov
03/20/2006 | 08:43 AM

As expected, the world’s largest chipmaker Intel Corp. disclosed some details concerning its next-generation micro-architecture for desktop, mobile and server microprocessors. As projected, the new architecture named “Core inherits features from both NetBurst and P6 architectures and also adds some extra features. According to Intel, the new architecture is concentrated to deliver performance at very low power consumption.


“The Intel Core micro-architecture is a milestone in enabling scalable performance and energy efficiency. Later this year it will fuel new dual-core processors and quad-core processors in 2007 that we expect to deliver industry leading performance and capabilities per watt. People will see systems that can be faster, smaller and quieter with longer battery life and lower electric bills,” said Justin Rattner, chief technology officer of Intel Corp.

Intel proclaimed several features of the new Intel Core micro-architecture:

·  Intel Wide Dynamic Execution – Delivers more instructions per clock cycle, improving execution and energy efficiency. Every execution core is wider, allowing each core to complete up to four full instructions simultaneously using an efficient 14-stage pipeline.

·  Intel Intelligent Power Capability – Includes features that further reduce power consumption by intelligently powering on individual logic subsystems only when required.

·  Intel Advanced Smart Cache – This includes a shared L2 cache to reduce power by minimizing memory traffic and increase performance by allowing one core to utilize the entire cache when the other core is idle.

·  Intel Smart Memory Access – Yet another feature that improves system performance by hiding memory latency and thus optimizing the use of data bandwidth out to the memory subsystem.

·  Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost – Now many 128-bit SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 instructions execute within only one cycle. This effectively doubles the execution speed for these instructions which are used widely in multimedia and graphics applications.

Besides, Intel made some promises regarding performance of the new processors. In his keynote, Mr. Rattner showed how the Conroe desktop processor could provide roughly a 40% boost in performance and a 40% decrease in power as compared to Intel’s current high-performing Intel Pentium D 950 processor. According to Rattner, when compared to the current-generation dual-core Intel Xeon processors, the code-named Woodcrest chip for servers bring in 80% speed improvement and 35% power consumption reduction.

Intel expects processors based on the Intel Core micro-architecture, using Intel’s industry-leading 65nm manufacturing technology, to start shipping in the third quarter of 2006.