by Anton Shilov
03/17/2009 | 11:15 PM
Intel researchers have developed a special accelerator that may eventually allow creation of high-performance very low power graphics accelerators for mobile computers. Theoretically, similar accelerators may eventually be used for processing of non-graphics data in some other equipment.
Delivering great graphics performance on very small devices, like a phone or handheld device, has always been a challenge because of the inherent limitations of cramming and cooling high performance components in a very small, battery operated device. One technique to get around these limitations is executing multiple computing instructions at once (called SIMD, or Single Instruction, Multiple Data) so that the onscreen graphic images are rendered faster.
Intel researchers have developed a SIMD Accelerator that consumes about 10 times less energy than the accelerators used today, making it ideal for small devices. This advancement could enable richer multimedia and more immersive visuals, particularly on Mobile Internet Devices and other small devices in the future.
While this is just a research project aimed at enhancing future Intel products, it is noteworthy that the company decided to publicly admit its existence. It is unclear whether the new SIMD accelerator has anything to do with the discrete Larrabee GPU project.